Finca Santa Marta – An Organic Finca in Panama

Organic farming in Panama

Bio-fertilizers Made & Used at the Farm May 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimlmiller @ 12:34 am

Bio-fertilizers Made at the Farm

We have just started making bio-fertilizers at the farm.  The base is whey and molasses and then other ingredients are added depending on what the end result is you want.  They are combined in a barrel, sealed and allowed to ferment, letting off gas,  for 30 days.  Then they are diluted and applied to the plants and soil.

The first applications were the middle of May and will continue as we add the use of these  preparations to list of organic techniques used here at the farm.   We soon will see the fruits of our labor and will keep you posted.


Eggplant Loves the Sun May 17, 2010

Filed under: Eggplant — Ron Miller @ 9:51 am

White Eggplant

Eggplant is one of the happiest plants in our greenhouses.  They grow large, lush and produce fruit over a period of several months.  We’ve also experienced that eggplant has very few insect or disease problems.

Available in many different shapes and colors.  Everything from white to green to pink to purple.  Long, short, round, thin, fat…what a variety.

Uses for eggplant include grilling, frying, baking or stewing and raw dips. The practice of “breading” keeps the spongy fruit from absorbing too much oil when fried.

If you peel and chop eggplant, it resembles mushrooms in texture when cooked in different dishes such as vegetarian lasagne.  This makes eggplant perfect for any dish that you would use mushrooms in.

Eggplant Salsa

Make ahead and allow this salsa to marinade for a few hours to blend the flavors.  As an appetizer, serve with crackers instead of chips to absorb the tasty excess juice.  The trick is to dice the eggplant, onion, and tomato into small, 1/8 inch pieces, it’ll make a much nicer salsa.

1 medium eggplant, approx 2 1/2 c cooked, diced fine; 1 medium onion, diced fine; 1/2 cup tomato, diced fine; 1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, freshly chopped; 1 clove garlic, minced fine, 2 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin; 2 Tbsp lemon juice; 1/2 tsp sea salt; 1/2 tsp braggs amino acids or soy sauce; dash cayenne pepper.

Make an inch long slit in each eggplant to release the steam and bake in a 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet until tender, approx 40-50 minutes depending on the size.  Pierce with a fork to test tenderness.  Cool, peel and chop into very small 1/8″ diced pieces.  Combine eggplant with remaining ingredients, stir well and chill for several hours to blend the flavors.  Serves with crackers.


Kale and Recipe for Using it Raw May 11, 2010

Filed under: Greens — Ron Miller @ 11:29 am

Lacinato or Dinasour Kale Named Toscano

Kale is full of nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked.  Very high in Vit K and high in Vit A and Vit C and also has more calcium per calorie than milk.  It’s almost a complete protein (92 out of 100 percent), containing almost all the essential amino acids.

There are several varieties.  This is lacinato or “dinasour” variety in the photo currently growing at the farm.  There are also Red Russian, White Russian (which I haven’t tried) and a great tasting variety called Winterbor.  The last variety is type I used in the recipe, but any will work fine.

Chopped kale can be added to omelets, soups, stir-fries, just about everything but desserts.

But raw, it’s wonderful too.  Here is a recipe from the book “Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People” by Jennifer Cornbleet.  The recipe calls for pinenuts, but I modified it when I made it yesterday because I was out of pinenuts.

Mediterranean Kale with Pecans and Raisins

4 kale leaves, stems removed, 1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp pecans (I cheated and toasted these a little.)  Stack 2 of the kale leaves with the stem end facing you.  Fold in half lengthwise and tightly like a cigar.  Slice crosswise into this strips.  Repeat with the remaining 2 leaves.  Chop the kale strips crosswise a few times so they aren’t too long.  Place in mixing bowl along with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.  Toss well and massage the kale with your hands, working the dressing into the greens.  When finished, add the raisins.  (The recipe called for golden raisins, but I only had dark raisins.)  Serve immediately or store up to 3 days in refrigerator.  When serving, top with the pecans.  If storing, keep the nuts separate or they’ll get soggy.  Ron’s comment was, “This salad is different, interesting and pretty good”.