Thursday, August 14, 2008

The dense cloud forest

This is a sample of the views of the cloud forest that can be seen from the trail through the forest and from the canopy walk.

The density of this forest should give you an appreciation of the challenges that faced the Quakers in 1951 as they cleared land for their houses and farms and faced the challenge of living in such an area that was remote 50 years ago.

I ended yesterday's post with a question of what could they do to earn money? Crops would spoil before they got to market. Manufacturing is not practical in such a remote location. They obviously can't produce any wealth by selling insurance to each other.

Their solution was to produce and sell cheese. Monteverde cheese is still produced by them today and is available in markets throughout Costa Rica. Cheese was the solution because their mountainous land was suitable for dairy cows, and it was easier to transport and would not spoil during the slow trip down the mountain to the roads of the outside world.

The Quakers needed something to use as molds to form the shape of their cheese. Their solution was to use the round cardboard containers that previously held - - - - Quaker Oats, of course.

(For readers of this website outside the USA, I perhaps should explain that there is a well known cereal company in the USA that sells oatmeal in round cardboard containers with a logo that is a picture of a colonial-era Quaker on the box and is called Quaker Oats, but I don't think that the company has anything to do with the Quaker religious group.)


Sharon said...

So my question is...have you tried the Monteverde Cheese?

Neva said...

What a great view.....I am sure about the Quaker Oats box but that is a big hunk of cheese, right?

David -- said...

Here are my responses to the comments and quetions of Sharon and Neva.

I have indeed had Monteverde cheese. It is available in virtually every supermarket in Costa Rica.

Neva, it comes in smaller slices than a full Quaker Oats box, such as about a half-inch thick section of a slab that is about the size of a Quaker Oats box, but I am sure they don't use them anymore.

Sharon, Monteverde cheese is similar to provolone in color, texture and flavor.

Laurie said...

This is so interesting! I've never heard of Costa Rican cheese and now I simply must try some of it!

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