Update February – Moringa

The farm uses a ton of moringa.

Moringa is an incredible plant, and has various nicknames. It grows like a weed and has a ton of uses, and is a fantastic source of vegetable protien. We use it for various uses, from feeing the fish in our aquapoincs system, feeding our happy chickens, to feeding cattle.

The chicken ‘corrales’ are lined with moringa so we can chop and drop right into the chicken runs and they immediatly eat it up. We then take the stalks and plant them on the property, as we manage to use up the moringa.

Going forward however, we are about tot have a ton of moringa. Initially we just built some basic netted shelves, and let the moringa sun dry. It’s been working, and most importantly we need to to grow the farm to the next level.

The next growth we want to put moringa drying area underneath the apartment, into what is about to become the production area. We are going to start to produce finished products at the farm, as selling organic heirloom peppers for 50 RD a pound will not make the farm sustainable. We need to produce an incredible sustainable farm hot sauce with a mic of the various home grown ingredients that we grow at the farm. The farm needs to have a bunch of products that are produced on a rotating basis. Monringa powder is one of those products.

Victor, who is the one who handles most of the day to day of the moringa drying with Brandon, suggested that we use the old cement structure that held the first solar panels.

The first solar panels at the farm are a story unto itself, but we’ll get to that one another day.

To build a solar dehydrator using the existing cement structure. The easy way to achieve that is get a plastic transparent roof and extend the roof. Level out the ground and move the current moringa drying rack s to under the tarp. The harder but not too hard next step is using the cement structure to build drying racks, build heating ramps – similar to Anton’s version, but fixed. have multiple heating ramps

Finish off the intern buildling first floor – which means paying the ebanista to build in the screens

Finish off the first stage of the productioon room, and get production going

this we can make now

hot perpper sauce
mint sauce
pesto
moringa powder – start of our protein poweder
tomato sauce
kambucha
coconut water for the gym

for not much investment we could add in

coconut oil
moringa oil
almond butter
essential oils including citronella, lemon-grass, moringa, coconut, ton of the items on our lit

All these items will give us products that can be made weekly and stored in small president bottles that can then be sold for 10 x the cost of what we can sell the produce for

Talked to victor about replacing ocar. the guy who cooks the pig it a good worker, and victor wants him on the same hours and same salary – 7000/moth – and he’ll focus on all the gardening – cleaning up the fruit trees, clenaing up the whole property. it would be good to get him working with Robb – that should help a lot

the barbados cherry is flowrin

the jackfruit is flowring a lot

victor is building out the wall on the 4th chicken corrale – planting moringa and put up the fence. on top of that, they are starting to weed and plant out grass into the various corales. the moringa is growing in well along the fences.

we talked about chicken production – the chicken nursery/hatchery. victor figures he has about 4-6 eggs/day, and these are fertilized eggs. the idea is that after they lay, victor moves them into the sheep building with the mom who sits on them there – when the hatch, he lets them run free until they are ready to either be layers – or meat birds depending on the chicken’s sex. low food needs, and they are busy cleaning put eh property and running around. could potentially section off all the areas that are bein cleaned now, in the various orchards – an keep meet chickens in there to keep the area clean – low numbers so they eat largely the weeds until we can plant out grass and get all the areas under control

Introducing farm intern Brendan

Hello All! My name is Brendan Cormier and I have been working at Taino Farm for 2 months now and have fallen in love with the farm here and have no intention of leaving any time soon. So I have started this blog to inform interested people about growing Tilapia in an aquaponics in the tropics of the Dominican Republic.

A little background about me: I graduated last year from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems with an emphasis on agricultural business management. During my time at UNH I studied abroad in Costa Rica and found my calling to live in the tropics. I had visited my adviser and professor Andrew Ogden’s farm and when I returned home I asked him if he had any projects that I could get involved with to keep me in touch with Costa Rica. It was then he introduced me to aquaponics! I then spent my final two years of school studying every aspect of aquaponics and designing a commercial sized system to install at Andrew’s farm.

aquapoincs internships

Brendon loving it!

However, when graduated from UNH I realized hands-on experience working with a large-scale aquaponics system was necessary to study and learn how to manage a system myself. With a simple Google search of: Aquaponics Internship I have found myself back in the tropics in Dominican Republic learning more than I ever could have imagined. Taino Farm is a 10-acre farm in the rural town of Los Brasos about half an hour from Cabarete; the popular kite surfing beach town where the owner of the farm Robbie also owns Extreme Hotel, where most of the produce from the farm is sold.

I have been working on many different projects here involving the aquaponics systems at the farm and hope to help grow the system for the better. My projects as of now include: Finding the correct plants to grow, studying the water parameters of the system as a whole to make the system healthier and function more efficiently, and designing my own nutritious locally produced food source for the Tilapia in the system.