Transplanting more Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties and in cooking as a coloring and flavoring. This plant is a cousin of ginger and is native to Asia. Both are considered superfoods. It has been used for many years, but over time the knowledge and importance of this plant has been lost.

Curcuma longa at Yantza Farm

Two areas of curcuma have been established in the Yantza – PermaTree. A large 15x30m approximately only turmeric and a small one with 4 terraces of 0.3m x 4 m where it is associated with different types of basil, mint and ginger.

For the large area worked on September 25, 2019, it was weeding and preparing the land. The cut plants were used between the rows to serve as mulching. This serves to decrease weed control. Over time they will decompose and pay for the soil, favoring the closing of cycles. Half of the area was planted on the same day.

The next day, September 26, the other half of the area was sown using the same method. The cut weed was accommodated between the beds, the soil was prepared and the soil was sown approximately 5 cm of curcuma root, at a distance of 40 cm between plant and 1 m between row to 5 cm deep.

In the smaller area it was associated with several crops. The soil in this area was not very good, so it was necessary to add fertilizer. Soil preparation was similar, the same planting distance was used but larger roots were used because the soil is not in the best condition. The curcuma takes approximately 9 months to be ready for harvest. From each plant you can obtain up to 1-2 kg of turmeric. Once you have a considerable amount of curcuma you can start to give it added value by hand, either for natural medicine, food industry or even to make cosmetics of natural origin.

Turmeric properties

In addition to being used in cooking as a seasoning, turmeric has many medicinal uses.

  • Helps reduce the number of cancer cells in the mouth, skin and intestine. It can be used as a complement to chemotherapy. breast cancer is one of the best responds to the effects of turmeric. According to Carlos García Saldaña, member of the Spanish Society of Graduates, Doctors and Graduates in Food Science and Technology, turmeric is good for preventing cancer, induces cell death in the deepest part of individual cells, eliminates the cells responsible for bladder and  lung cancer.
  • Its anti-inflammatory effect makes it comparable to the effect of ibuprofen or phenylbutazone. This is because curcumin acts on inflammation mediators, such as leukotrienes, neutrophils, platelet aggregation and COX enzyme activity. for this, it is a good choice for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Turmeric as a seasoning cannot be said to be fully effective in painful seizures.
  • Because of its anti-inflammatory action, turmeric is also indicated in other processes that affect organs, such as inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation of the eye cornea, pancreatitis or irritable colon.
  • Turmeric facilitates the digestion of fats by improving the quantity, quality and flow of bile. It is recommended when cholesterol is high or in patients with diabetes, and in healthy people it is excellent digestive from high-fat foods, it also helps to burn fat
  • Alzheimer’s is a chronic inflammation of the central nervous system. As we have said before, turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory. This improves the quality of brain tissue and reduces the progression of Alzheimer’s. It may also be helpful in the complementary treatment of other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s.
  • Turmeric may also help against mood disorders. A study of 60 patients with psychotic and suicidal tendencies observed a positive evolution that could be related to the effect of curcumin on monoaminergic nerve pathways, mood determinants, and axis stimulus hypothalamus-adrenal pituitary gland, which controls stress reactions.
  • Eye cells have many pigments, turmeric contains curcumin, which being a pigment is very useful in the face of eye degradation and loss of perception. However, turmeric does not act alone from within the body. It is also able to do it through the skin. It is therefore indicated for the healing of ulcers and wounds, and as a rejuvenating agent. Studies suggest a beneficial action on psoriasis, scleroderma, and premalignant or malignant skin lesions.

Certification of Good Agricultural Practices

Certification of Good Agricultural Practices (BAP by its acronym in Spanish) Yantza Farm – PermaTree

Yantza Farm – PermaTree obtained the Certificate of Good Agricultural Practices (BPA) from the Ministry of Agriculture with the register Nr. EC-Z-05-53-PA-G-2019-067 for the following crops: Soursop (Annona Muricata L), Guineo Ceda, Ilex Guayusa and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Friday, October 4, 2019.

Good Agricultural Practices or BPAs according to the Ministry of Agriculture “They are a set of principles, standards and technical recommendations applicable to the production, processing and transport of food” with the aim of improving food quality, in order to improve the health of families who consume these foods, take care of the environment and improve the quality of life of workers and their families.

BPAs are important because people are more interested in the traceability and transparency of the origin of their food.

Among the main problems of not having BPA is that food produced may contain residues of agrochemicals, such as herbicides or insecticides, can carry diseases or pests that have some negative effect on the consumers of these foods Contaminated. Unsure of the provenance of our food, farmers will sell fewer products and their income will be reduced.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 3 fundamental pillars of BPAs:

  1. Food safety: Ensure that food is free from physical, chemical and biological hazards. 
  2. Quality and environmental management: Ensure the care of water, soil, native plant species, beneficial insects and natural sweeps.
  3. Occupational safety: To seek the health of farmers, the proper use of protective tools and equipment, training on the importance of their work in the field.

Why be BPA?

By being BPA certificated we can obtain better quality and healthier products for consumers, it guarantees the health and well-being of workers. Children from working families can go to school, production becomes sustainable over time and you have the opportunity to reach more competitive markets.

You can also have better control over the production of the farms. With better quality food yields are improved, farmers can improve their income, improving their quality of life.

Steps to obtain BPA

  1. History of the agricultural production unit and land selection
  2. Properly prepare the soil to prevent degradation and washing
  3. Plan the planting of crops and establish them
  4. Perform maintenance and care during the production cycle
  5. Fertilization to add nutrients to the soil to improve production
  6. Perform integrated pest management (IPM)
  7. Control the quality of water entering crops
  8. Properly handle products in harvest, transport and post-harvest.
  9. Keep production areas clean and disinfected
  10. Provide well-being and care to workers.
  11. Protecting and maintaining natural resources
  12. Traceability system, documentation and records for transparent processes.

Information obtained from AGROCALIDAD in Ecuador.

BPA at Yantza Farm – PermaTree

It is important to understand that organic production systems are the most natural and sustainable in time, as they are the closest thing to nature. these systems use natural resources and do not use chemicals that affect biodiversity and the balance of productive areas.

The Yantza Farm – PermaTree, is the first farm in the province of Zamora Chinchipe. Being an organic and permaculture farm, it aims to make consumers know what production processes are like. From the selection of plants that are sown, in this case soursop, which is the largest crop, to the process of added value and packaging of the products.

An important part of the estate is also the holistic approach it has. It is understood that the entire system is related and it is important to protect and maintain each of the elements of the system, from the smallest insects and microorganisms in the soil, to the larger animals such as the birds and trees that give shelter to them.

By implementing BPAs, you seek to obtain the best production results, taking care of the plants and giving them the necessary resources naturally for them to produce continuously. However, the most important thing is to get quality products and not necessarily quite poor-quality harvest.

The soil handling is a bit complex, as the area is not completely flat. Erosion is a big problem. With the large amount of rain that this area has, the soil is washed and the productive part is lost. For the management of this have been chosen to make terraces at level, every 5 meters to facilitate the planting and management of crops.

The use of plant toppings is important to reduce the impact of rain on the soil. For this it was chosen to use forage peanuts, as it is an excellent nitrogen fixer, resists trampling and is good at colonizing areas, thus reducing the spread of weeds.

Vetiver has also been planted on the edges of the terraces to prevent them from moving. The roots of the vetiver can grow up to 15 m, and this helps to hold the earth.

Near the productive areas are planted different native plants with flowering that attract insects. This in order to conserve native species, both flora and fauna, since insects help pollination, obtaining better results in production and quality.

For weed control, it is fumigated with urea, which is toxic in large quantities only for grasses. This applies when grasses start to appear again and make it difficult for other plants to grow

In this way, the PermaTree farm implements BPA’s, always taking into account the component, productive, economic and above all, environmental.