Finca Santa Marta is an organic farm where we are devoted to working with the land and it’s abundant fertile soil, clean air, water, and warm tropical sun to grow nutritious, healthy food for Panama. The farm is 17 hectares (45 acres) and has different elevations with the lower level bordering with the Rio Gariché. This gives us different micro-climates that allows us to grow different crops outside as well.
This month (May 2010) we have finished building and preparing our 4th greenhouse for production. With each greenhouse being 32’x100′, we have alot of indoor space for growing things that need to have extra protection from the heavy rains. Eggplant is an example of a plant that is happy in the greenhouse. They grow large, lush and are very productive over a period of several months.
We are also growing many crops outside under T-frames. These are made with bamboo and plastic. The plastic is 4′ wide and arched to keep the rain off. This is enough protection from the direct heavy rain to keep the plants from being damaged. We’ve grown peppers and tomatoes and are now growing pole beans under the frames.
You will find chickens in different stages of life at the farm. Chicks arrive, so cute and fluffy, peeping away and are kept warm in our brooder house. Soon they are big enough to let them outside. A couple will peek outside and then run back to the flock. Pretty soon more will peek outside, then one will get to the edge and sit down, finally one will be brave enough to be the first out of the house. Soon another will follow and peck at the dirt, and before you know it, they are all out, loving the soil, grit, bugs, life is good. Their natural diet is supplemented with grain. It’s funny to see all the flock come running when they see dinner coming, whether it’s for a worm that one of them found, or the grain we provide. Layers give us eggs and the broiler provide food.
Cattle are a part of the whole system here at the farm. Since Finca Santa Marta was a cattle farm prior, we have nice pasture areas. The cattle help keep these down and covert the grass to the manure we collect for our compost bins and bio-fertilzer.
In 2009 we had 2 horses on the farm. Chombo (our male) and Elizabeth. But this year we were blessed with a Pinto colt named “Spirit”. He’s beautiful and we were able to witness his first time at walking. Gazing out over the pasture and seeing them is such a delight. Chombo is used to help round up the cattle and make sure they are all there and healthy and also when it’s time to move them to a new pasture.
Dino and Dragon are our two dogs that protect us and guard the property. Often our wake up call is them howling when the first horse goes down the road. Can’t let a horse go by unnoticed, you know. Dragon is a swimmer and will go to the river and swim with us.
Currently our produce is available at the Tuesday Market in Boquete on Tuesdays from 9-12 at the Boquete Events Center. In the future, We plan to deliver in David and Volcan as our production allows.
Our vision is to share the farm and the knowledge we gain freely with others. Tours of the farm are available by appointment only. Look for training seminars offered in the near future.