Finca Santa Marta – An Organic Finca in Panama

Organic farming in Panama

A Little Friend in Our Greenhouse February 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ron Miller @ 10:17 pm

Here is a little frog sleeping on our Asian Greens.  Doesn’t it look sweet?  We have to be careful when harvesting so we don’t get the little guy in our  bag of greens.  There are many different varieties and colors of frogs and toads in Panama, including some that are poisonous, especially to dogs.  Some of them are endangered too.

Here is a quick lesson on the difference between frogs and toads.

Frogs:  need to live near water; have smooth, moist skin; a narrow body; higher, rounder, bulgier eyes; longer hind legs that allows them to take long high jumps and have many predators.

Toads:  don’t need to live near water; have rough, dry, bumpy skin; have a wider body; lower, football shaped eyes; shorter hind legs; will run or take small hops; don’t have many predators because the toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste.

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Finca Santa Marta Organic Farm Update February 14, 2010

Filed under: Maracuyá (Passion Fruit),Uncategorized — Ron Miller @ 2:33 pm

Maracuyá Flower

Hello everyone, starting today, this blog will be regularly updated as we make improvements and grow at Finca Santa Marta.

Currently we are harvesting, green, yellow, purple and pink snap beans, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet and hot peppers, scallions, and more.  The beds are full and we’ve added a layer of grass clippings for mulch.  This will conserve water and cool the beds some.

A new earth worm breeding bin is being built which will allow us to begin making our own worm tea.  (A great organic foliar spray).  We’ll have more worm compost as well which is like gold to things in the greenhouse.  We have been raising worms for about 2 years with some success but this breeding bin will improve our processes.

We have recently harvested new bamboo for our next greenhouse construction.  We followed the phase of the moon and harvested at the best time to increase the life span of the bamboo.  We expect to have two additional 32′ x 100′ greenhouses built and in production in the next 60-90 days.  We’ll keep you updated with photos as they are created and planted.  Then we need a work area to join the greenhouses all together.  We need to get all the bamboo construction and plastic pulled over it before the heavy rains return.   Keep your fingers crossed.

Our 180 maracuyá vines are doing well and have just start yielding delicious passion fruit.  Note the pictures attached of the maracuyá flower and fruit.

We now have a good supply of our own bananas and plantains with yuca just around the corner.

We are just getting ready to start harvesting our dry bean crop for 2010.

Kim and I are in Virginia for 2.5 weeks to handle some US business.  We return to Panama on the 22nd to continue our organic farming project.  Having endured about 35 inches of snow since we arrived, I can assure you that we are ready for a return to the tropics and it’s warmth.

Looking forward to getting our hands back in the soil and enjoying the harvests of our labor.  Fresh, raw organic food is so good for our bodies.

Maracuyá Fruit Hanging on the Vines