You hear about Coralina Vieja through word of mouth. It is a big orchard with an impressive variety of fruit trees of all kinds. We spent two hours with Ramon who presents us his farm, lets us taste the various fruits and offers us to bring back as many as we like. It is like a huge fruit supermarket where you walk around, taste buds on the lookout and bag in hand.
With 40 years of existence, the finca has 17 ha including 9 dedicated for this orchard. Located very close to the sea, the ground used to be fully covered by sea water. Inf act, the ground is covered with old coral. Corals are rich in calcium which seems to make it difficult for the trees to absorb iron and magnesium, which brings sometimes dry or yellow leaves.
WATER AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT
The question was not tackled for daily life on the farm. Regarding the orchard, there is no watering – except when the small trees are planted from pot to earth. Ramon explains that it is a kind of trauma for the tree so for the first weeks, it needs a particular attention before it can fend for itself. Only the nursery for the young trees – an opened spce only noticeable because closer to the house, receives a bit of attention.
The question was not tackled.
THE WAY IT WORKS
The farm is the property of Ramon’s in-laws. He takes care of the orchard and continues the work started by replanting regularly fruit trees of all kinds. Trees are trimmed in order to stay low and ease the picking.
This farm is quite unique. All farms of the region are for the majority in monoculture. Ramon tells us that families that used to exploit people and the earth to extract minerals, first gold then silver thn copper are still the same dominant cast. After they exhausted these resources, they converted to monoculture first of cacao and coffee and sugar cane then of bananas when notably cacao and coffee plantations were destroyed by diseases. They are called the “blood fruits”, because the workers are still exploited by the same dynasties which make the earth bleed and export all the production towards the richer countries.
There is an impressive variety of fruits and spice, present in various proportions along the year. There are also plants such as big grass or bushes,…Etc. Can be found: Cas fruit, sour soap or guanava (good for the stomach), acerola, pitaya or dragon fruit, cashew nut (the fruit is red like a pear and extracting the nut is done with care because the smoke from the fire is toxic), pepper, achiote (also called lipstick tree), jack fruit (one fruit can provide 7 meals for a person, each tree bears tens of these, it is a super-food), three types of star fruits, one sweet, one sour and one that can be used as detergent or that you can macerate into a pickles, pink grapefruit, green lime, sweet apples or tropical apples, nutmeg, pitanga, a kind of Asian spinach, panamean palm (its heart tasted onsite freshly picked has an amazing flavor), Ylang-ylang (of which the flower goes into the composition of numerous perfumes including Channel N°5), ice cream beans (a huge bean which beans are nestled in a white foam and which tastes like a very sweet and delicious ice cream), chocolate (the original one and the modern one), the lemon dulce (between lemon and orange), kumquat, sugar cane (tasted onsite it is like a candy stick), nispero (light green small fruits that you can cook in sauce), cherimoya, mulberry, cinnamon (the bark is peeled and dried), bayruml, rainbow eucalyptus which bark seems to peel off thousands of colours, moringa...
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