Field Trip: Aloe Vera Plantation Curaçao

by Andrew Keys on February 18, 2010

Last week, we packed our bags and flew south to warmer climes. Caribbean climes, to be exact: we flew to Curaçao, a small island off the Venezuela coast, neighbor to popular Aruba. Curaçao is an arid island with native flora to match, which was fascinating — a cacti-studded desert with ocean views.

One notable imported plant, brought to the island as a medicinal by African slaves in colonial times, is Aloe vera. In fact, there’s an entire Aloe vera PLANTATION on Curaçao. You see where I’m headed with this, right?

Curaçao’s Aloe plantation is great: they’re a small outfit, employing local people; they use all parts of the Aloe, and what they don’t use is composted; they even irrigate the Aloe, when it’s irrigated at all, with greywater. (Which in hindsight concerns me about runoff, but I can’t speak on that.)

Also, they give a great tour, so take a look. Bonus pics of amazing Agaves blooming at the edge of a sea cliff at the end.

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