Over 40 members of the Pedasí community met at the AEP office early on Saturday, January 19th to visit the Santiago Gomez’s organic farm. Santiago has been growing crops on his farm in La Canoa, Herrera using chemical-free practices for over twenty years. His farm has a diverse set of crops from coffee to plantains to citrus fruits. The tour participants made up a diverse group, from families, to students from the University of Las Tablas, to agricultural producers from Los Asientos. The Azuero Earth Project was also pleased to have Fermín Romero Panama’s Ministry of Agriculture’s Head of Organic Agriculture, and Meinaldo Mitre of the Panamanian First Lady’s Dispatch on the tour.
During the tour, Santiago showed visitors many components that make up an organic farm, including his composting toilet, a center where he makes compost and natural pesticides and insecticides, his chicken coop, and his nursery where he germinates seedlings for crops and trees. Santiago makes various types of compost, including green compost, bocashi, worm compost, and biol, a natural fertilizer.
The success of the tour made it clear that there is interest in organic agriculture in the Azuero. Tour participant and producer Johny Montenegro commented, “I never realized that these leaves that I collect every day could be used for compost. I always bought compost, bought urea, but I have everything [to make these products] in my backyard” If you are interested in learning more about organic agriculture, check out AEP’s organiculture links, join Geoffrey’s Garden on Facebook, visit AEP’s organic garden at the office in Pedasí, or contact Sophie Fuchs, Coordinator of AEP´s Organiculture Program directly at Sophie@proecoazuero.org or 6840-7103.
To learn more about the tour and organic producer Santiago Gomez, visit our Guest Experts page.
Written by Sophie M. Fuchs