A gardeners dream

Having a garden to grow at least some of our own fruits and vegetables was one of the reasons to come to Panama. Land is affordable compared to many other places in the world, and a climate without frost, with regular rainfall and abundant sun results in a maximum yield. The challenge is not whether you get something to grow, but if you can prevent it from growing too much. Other challenges lie in battling leaf-cutter ants, keeping your lawn short to minimise no-see-ums and snakes (if it wasn’t for our cat Conan), landscaping/terracing/minimising erosion and soil improvement.

Our land has been used as cattle pasture perhaps for over a century, there is zero top soil left. Yet contradictory to all the environmental nonsense I was told in high school, restoring poor soils can be done in no time. Of course it would take 50 years to get fully mature trees or a rainforest, but just getting things green again, stop erosion and start gardening only takes a year.

When we just opened last year, Jim, a friend of ours and annual guest came by for his summer holidays. Our building was barely finished and the place looked like a construction site. He returned again for this years’ summer holiday. To give you an idea of what can be achieved in only a year, let’s compare some shots he took:

Amazing isn’t it? Of course we used (organic) fertilizer for all our vegetable and flowerbeds, but other than that it was simply mother nature doing what she does best.

Another guest of ours and a professional photographer was kind enough to take some wonderful shots of our place as well as writing some really nice blog entries on his experience here in Santa Fe. Thanks again Luis!

Here is a list of what fruits, vegetables, roots and herbs we are growing:

FRUIT
pineapple (2 species)
soursop (guanabana)
guava
orange (2 species)
mandarin
lemon
lime (2 species)
noni (Indian mulberry)
naranjilla (lulo)
cacao
cashew
chinese cherry
milk fruit (2 species)
papaya
pashion fruit (maracuya)
almond
coconut
banana (2 species)
rose apple
mango
tamarind

HERBS
basil (5 species)
mint (3 species)
Thyme
oregano (2 species)
lemongrass (2 species)
cinnamon
pepper
coriander (cilantro)
culantro
neem

VEGETABLES/ROOTS
ginger
thai ginger (galangal)
yuca
onions
carrots
chili peppers (3 species)
bell peppers
tomato (2 species)
lettuce (3 species)
cucumber
squash
zuchini
corn
spinach
brocolli
sweet pea
green beans
radish

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