Sustainable Practice: Homesteading to Skin Care

  • Rancho Mastatal Rancho Mastatal
  • 100 metros del Centro de Acopio, Mastatal, Puriscal, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • May 12 - 16, 2019 (5 days)
  • $450 USD Includes all food, lodging and instruction.

Event Highlights

  • Herbalism and Fermentation Overview
  • Brewing Alcohol and Vinegar
  • Live Culture Pickles, Dairy Kefir, and Probiotic Sodas
  • Steam Distilling Alcohol, Hydrosols & Essential Oils
  • Infusions & Extracts
  • Soap Making
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Hand and Lip Balms
  • Lotions, Body Creams and Butters
  • Natural Deodorant
  • Homemade Hair Care
  • Resource Packet with Recipes for Further Independent Learning & Practice
  • Each student will take home a selection of their own products created during course


Tentative Schedule
Evening Arrival | Monday, May 12
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Cena
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM Brief Introduction

Day 1 | Tuesday, May 13
8:00 AM - 9:00 Desayuno
9:00 AM-10:00 AM Tour and Workshop Overview
10:00 AM-11:30 AM Introduction to Herbalism & Fermentation at home
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Brewing Alcohol & Vinegar
1:00 PM- 2:30 PM Almuerzo & Siesta
2:30 PM- 4:00 PM Raw and Probiotic Foods
4:00 - 6:30 PM Free time or continue practice
6:30 - 7: 30 PM Cena

Day 2 | Wednesday, May 14
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Desayuno
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Introduction to Natural Skin Care
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Steam Distillation
11:30 AM - 1: 00 PM Infusions & Extractions
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Almuerzo & Siesta
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM Artesian Soap Making
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM Free time or continue practice
6:30 PM - 7: 30 PM Cena

Day 3 | Thursday, May 15
8:00 AM - 9:00 Desayuno
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM Waterfall or La Iguana Chocolate Tour
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Natural Household Products
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Almuerzo & Siesta
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM How make Hand & Lip Balms
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM Free time or continue practice
6:30 PM - 7: 30 PM Cena

Day 4 | Friday, May 16
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Desayuno
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Lotions, Creams & Butters
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Making your own deodorant
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Almuerzo & Siesta
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Natural Hair Care

About This Event

An immersive training and overview in traditional homesteading and herbal medicine practices brought to you by the co-founders of Atabey Botanicals, a social enterprise dedicated to supporting you develop practical applications of sustainability into your lifestyle that will improve your health and well being and protect the environment. During the course you will learn how to create your own line of non-toxic natural products and free yourself from a dependency on wasteful commercialized goods. This course provides introductions into fermentation, distillation and herbalism to build the foundations for training students in the techniques needed to be able to safely create their own personal care products and promote holistic wellbeing in their home and environment.

This place is beyond incredible. Such a tight knit group of people doing such amazing things. Rancho Mastatal is nestled deep in the Jungle of Costa Rica, I ended up there with a group of Wilderness EMT students and has no idea what to expect but within the three weeks I spent there is quickly became a second home for me. ~ Clara Murray

Venue Highlights

Swimming in the many waterfalls and rivers within walking distance.
Getting involved with the local community at the futbol field, library, or soda.
Taking a tour of one of the other eco-tourism projects in town.
Becoming friends with the hard-working Ranch core team and apprentice team.
Visiting our neighbors at Parque Nacional La Cangreja.
Learning about our sustainability practices during a Day Workshop.
Devouring local chocolate treats from La Iguana Chocolate.
Exploring the 14 kilometers of trails throughout our Private Wildlife Refuge.
Touring the Ranch's extensive campus and permaculture farm and systems.
Feasting on the buffet style meals cooked with care.
Resting in a hammock with one of the thousands of books from our library.
Taking a morning stroll on the quite streets to bird-watch.
Getting involved in a dinner time clean up dance party.
Learning about medicinal plants from leaders of the nearby indigenous reserve of Zapaton.
Helping to harvest ingredients for the days meals.


We build our living structures using contemporary and traditional natural building methods and locally sourced materials. We construct with bamboo, cob, wattle and daub, light clay, natural plasters and wood and stone found in the area's surrounding forests and rivers and design/build all of our own edifices. We have various options to choose from and will do our utmost to match you with the alternative that best meets your desires, budget and needs. Our lodging rates include all meals except for dinners on Sundays when we support the local restaurant. The price for children over 3 and up to 12 years is $30 per night. Costa Rican Nationals get a 15% discount on lodging.


The kitchen is the heart of the Ranch. It is the place we gather, the place we celebrate, and the place that sustains us day by day.

Our food is sourced from our local and regional foodshed, and each meal is prepared by hand from whole foods. We do not own a can opener. We do not own a microwave. We minimize our use of fossil fuels by cooking on fire, with solar energy, or with methane gas from our biodigestor. We value traditional methods of food preparation as well as innovation and culinary fusion from many practices. Each meal is served with something fresh and something fermented, and most include local or exotic delicacies like pejibaye, ojoche, jackfruit, breadnut, zorillo, starfruit, tropical greens, taro, and many more.

Our kitchen philosophy is grounded in the understanding that every part of food production--from farm to harvest to storage to preparation and preservation—are inherently linked in a food system that we have the power to continuously design and implement. We believe that communities everywhere can create sustainable, regenerative solutions that render the predominant global, fossil-fuel-based food system obsolete.

Meals at the Ranch are cooked from scratch, delicious, and plentiful with the majority of ingredients coming from the Ranch and a variety of local farms. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements prior to arriving.


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fermentation homesteading natural body care soapmaking

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