Growing and Harvesting

Most tropical soils are deficient due to a lack of organic matter and nutrients such as calcium, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Everything in the Amazon Rainforest is alive, thus, unlike temperate and Boreal forests, there is no thick layer of organic matter. This makes farming in the tropics especially challenging.

Fortunately, there are some interesting exceptions to this rule, as well as a number of methods for building and enriching soil. We use lime, biochar, compost, and mulch to build and improve our soil.

Planting Soil, Sacha Inchi Seeds, and a Jungle Nursery

Compost pileWe make compost by mixing the cleared brush with cow manure.

Federico carrying a postMr. Federico shows the workers how it’s done.

Workers carrying postsWe mill our own posts for the Sacha Inchi vines on site.

Worker using post hole diggerWorking in the Amazon isn’t for everyone. It takes exceptional strength to thrive in the high heat and humidity.

Agronomist training the Sacha Inchi seedlingsAgronomist, Louis, expertly trains the seedlings before planting.

Newly planted Sacha Inchi plantA thick layer of mulch protects the roots of the plant and discourages insects from damaging the vulnerable stalks.

We wait for the vines to become established before we begin inter-cropping with legumes and beneficials.

Each of the four to seven lobes of the star-shaped Sacha Inchi seed pod contains an individual seed.

Frequent harvesting of the Sacha Inchi pods spurs the vines to produce more seeds.

Once harvested, the Sacha Inchi pods are sun-dried until they turn dark brown and split open.

This Sacha Inchi seed pod is ready to be husked. After we extract the seeds, we use the husks for mulch.


Slideshow – Other pictures of Growing and Harvesting