Food Lab

Ziruma Forest Lab  of edible plants is located in the middle of the tropical Andes mountains. This is a corner of the world where nature and colorful local producers mix in their small production farms.

It is in this geographic location that we have the perfect conditions to make our experimental lab a success: Lush and abundant nature which translates into a myriad of fruits, herbs and other tropical plants rich in nutrients. We take pride in listening and learning from ancestral agricultural practices of the local population.

In our plant nursery we seed and propagate native plants. Fruiting trees, herbs, running plants and bushes keeping a high species diversity. We aim to increase and maintain the genetic diversity of edible plants.

Our goal, beyond producing and propagating edible plants in our nursery, is to offer scientific-based quality advice, consulting and support to people who want to change their food and living conditions, diminish their impact on the environment, and connect with ancestral knowledge of nature.

“We want to teach people that it is possible to eat well. From the farms to the city. We deserve to know the wealth our forests have to offer represented in the myriad of fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients. Food long forgotten by the modern lifestyle and the standardization of the food industry”. Dr. Daiane Carreira


Currently we are working in five project areas:

  • The science behind plants: we research and identify native plant edible species that often are not in the radar of large food producers and therefore not present in people’s table. These plants are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and bring along significant health benefits.
  • Food Forest Nursery: It is here that we reproduce, cultivate edible native and  regional plants. Fruit trees, herbs, bushes all vegetable produce that helps us eat better and healthier.
  • Take an edible plant and smile. We donate to our community seedling from our nursery. We teach how to cultivate and produce in small scale -for their family or as an extra source of income for local producers. We provide assistance and advice on crop maintenance and cultivation while at the same time providing great delicious recipes in hope that these edible  nutritious plants can reach their own diets.
  • Little People’s Garden: Taking info to the schools teaching the little ones the deliciousness of plans, fruits, texture and colors. In here they will learn how to plant in their homes some edible plants and how to make fun delicious recipes with flowers, leafs, seeds and fruit.
  • Connecting plants and chefs together. We create a network that brings information about edible plants and their nutritional properties to restaurant chefs. The idea is to incentive the use of more diverse ingredients  and edible plants in their culinary recipes.