Building a Finca – Update

Back in December of last year our neighbors Ivan and Max allowed me to visit their finca and post about their work. See Building a Finca, December 1, 2012.  Max was kind enough to come by with some beautiful papaya from the farm and he took me back for an update.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 045Joe and Max are examining the bounty on this one type of papaya. Different varieties of papaya have been planted to see which variety is better suited to this climate. Max is experimenting with the Hawaiian Papayas as well as the locally grown variety. His focus has been fruit that has a high sugar content with low maintenance and water consumption. The papaya trees that have been planted are producing but the focus of the farm is the production of tamarind.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 064San Clemente 10.31.2013 035These tamarind trees were started from seeds and have grown to over three feet in less than a year in the ground. It is a beautiful property with spectacular views of the ocean from almost any spot.

As we were leaving Max jumped out of the car and put several huge squash in the back seat, the one he gave me made several squash breads that I shared with the neighbors.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 040Since my first visit electricity has been brought to the property, roads and planting fields have been cleared and construction has been started on the first all bamboo home.

Good luck, buena suerte!

12 thoughts on “Building a Finca – Update

    • Hi Mary and John, the best part is Max brings me many of the papaya to sample, the little ones (Hawaiian) are so much sweeter than most I have buy. Nancy

  1. Wow, I remember when they started the farm and now it is beautiful, good luck to them and you for enjoying the fruit of their labor, I love tamarinds they are great for your kidneys and digestive system. Papayas are excellent as well for the digestive tract so eat up and enjoy.

    • Happy New Year Ana, Max will be happy that you can see the growth. I did not know how good tamarinds were for your digestive system. I really don’t care for the juice and don’t know exactly what to use it for, any suggestions? Nancy

      • Hi Nancy, I eat them right off the fruit, they have kind of medium size seeds, a lot of people don’t like them because of the tart sort of taste but I love them, I used to eat them in Guatemala, once in a blue moon I find them here in Central Florida, of course in South Florida they are abundant.

        • Hi Ana, I would never have thought to eat them right off the tree…I know folks make juice form them and I do have many recipes that call for a small amount to be added. It is a beautiful tree in the same family as the Mimosa trees that lined Old Cutler Road near downtown Miami…they were covered with the beautiful orange canopy of flowers and looked like umbrellas…I was so impressed by those trees I will never forget them. Nancy

  2. did you ever use pikapeppa sauce? (sp?) tamarinds are used in that! i love tamarind ‘juice’ and i think you could substitue tamarind for lemon in most any culinary experiment!

    i prefer to buy the small papayas, as i’m not overwhelmed with ‘what am i ging to do with this?’ they seem to change flavor unless they’re eaten when they’re just-cut fresh.

    z

    • Z, I have never heard of pikapeppa sauce, it looks like I will need to have someone bring it from the US for me as I have never seen this on the shelves here, but it sounds wonderful!!! I have only had tamarind juice once while in Costa Rica and honestly it did not do anything for me. I have many recipes that call for tamarind juice so I bought some and I have it in the refrigerator but I have not used it yet, I understand it will last in the frig for a very long time…As for the papayas, Max has been very generous with bringing us several each week, these are very tasty especially the little Hawaiian ones, very sweet, some of the bigger ones have no flavor at all..so I say why waste the calories on something that does not do it for me…once in a while I will cut it up and add water and put it in the blender, but you need to drink it fast or it will go bad…I dislike the taste of cut up fruit if it is put in the refrigerator, it starts to get mushy and loses what flavor it has…N

      • i’m glad to know that you note a change in flavor (smell?) with older papaya.. i use it in marinades to tenderize the ‘free-range’ beef as well.
        i think the pickapeppa (?) sauce comes from jamaica… it’s in a little bottle about the size of salsa picante bottles, but it’s a rich dark brown sauce, much tastier than A1… i think it might have anchoviies in it as well! it makes a great base for bbq sauce or marinades.

        i buy the ‘pulp’ tamarind which is sold in hand-wrapped packages of plastic wrap.. the pulp is still attached to the seeds, and wow, that pulp is beyond sweet-tart sour!

        • HI Z, I hope to find the pickapeppa sauce one day in SuperMaxi it sounds lovely. I also bought the hand wrapped package from one of the fruit and veggie vendors that passes the house each week. I know I have several recipes that call for tamarind but I honestly don’t know which ones, so it sits in my refrig until I run across those recipes…can;t wait to try it. While walking back from downtown this morning a guy was selling farm raised shrimp, I bought a pound and plan on making civeche with them this morning, I better get started as it is already after 11, where does my day go. Nancy

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