The farm is bordered on most sides by tropical forest with hardwood trees like Sucupira, Louro, Mahogany, Pau d’Arco, Cedar and others species. The forests have been untouched for a generation except for small quantities of wood taken to make fences on the farm.
The farm is split in 8 meadows with capim Brachiara Gigante and Decumbes, species for breeding cattle. Most fences have been renewed and the rest is in progress.
The farm is used for the breeding of so called ‘’green cattle’’, where only grass, salt and an abundance of water are used to breed the cattle apart from the mandatory cycle of vaccinations. The cows are originally bred from Limousin, Red Angus, Guzera and Nelore race and form a local variety of the best type.
The around 105 cattle are split into two herds, a bull with mature cows and their calves and another one a young bull with heifers. The majority of heifers get sold after 18-24 months of age, with the most promising young cows to change herd and breed new calves. The heifers would reach a weight of between 11 and 14 arobes of 15 kilogram each. The two herds are rotated around the meadows to give the grass a chance to recuperate. The number of cattle held could be as high as 150 as up to 1,5 per hectare would do. We decided to diminish the number of animals during the worst draught in a century to make sure the animals had enough grass.
Apart from the cows, four horses, two mules, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and a pair of peacocks complete the fauna. The one hectare lake holds plenty large fish like delicious tilapia and tambaqui (a fish that has the appearance of a piranha, but is a solitary fish feeding on decaying plants, insects and snails).
Four hectares of cloned, disease resistant and highly productive cacao is grown. The cacao is organically grown and it would be possible to certify the production as such. The region has been affected with a disease called vassoura the bruxa (witches broom) but the farm’s cacao is unaffected due to resistant species. The average production has been around 140 arobas (2100 kg) per year.
The farm holds:
1. A simple but comfortable house of around 150 m2 with 3 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms (one ensuite) and a staff room. It has a dining room, kitchen, an airy and light closed veranda, an open veranda, a fire place plus a 30m2 covered area for holding parties and barbeques. The house has a parabole antenna, flat screen tv, internet, telephone, stove plus oven, a fridge, connected electricity and a solar panel connected to batteries and lamps in case of a power outage. Water comes directly from the spring up the mountain to the house. The house comes with an open hearth for cooler winter evenings when temperature can drop till 12 degrees centigrade. The house is set in a 750 m2 garden with hibiscus, fruit trees and soft grass.
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2. A large 300 m2 comfortable house, construction is in progress, built of two feet wide granite walls, ensuring cool days and comfortable nights and castle like security. It is built on a 700 meter platform. Once finished it will hold a large open kitchen cum salon of 80 m2 including an open hearth, three large en suite bedrooms, a large livingroom, and a huge 110 meter open veranda and a roof terrace of 150 m2.
3. A simple staff house of around 120 m2 with a salon, 3 bedrooms, bath room and an outside kitchen with wood stove and a small veranda. The house has a parabole antenna, tv, a fridge, connected electricity and a solar panel connected to batteries and lamps in case of a power outage. Water comes directly from the spring up the mountain to the house.
4. A 100 m2 building that is half deposit, half used for staff lodgings, including a bathroom, a simple outside sink and a room holding a washing machine for the farm. Water comes directly from the spring up the mountain to the house.
5. A coral with six parts made of wood and steel wire to manage the herds. It is equipped with a small veterinarian pharmacy.
© Rob de Laet, een+1 = 3