Finca La Sarantontona

We had the opportunity to meet the family behind the Finca La Sarantontona in Muñique recently, where it was obvious that this eco finca, dedicated to fair trade and organic farming is a labour of love.

Oscar with José MaríaJosé María and María with Teresa the camel

I had previously heard of José María Guerra Cabrera as he is the only ecological chilli grower in Lanzarote, who has the capacity to export the produce to Europe. The Pequin variety of chillies are grown here, hand cut and freeze dried to preserve the flavour, then sold online for distribution in Europe through the website The Love of Chilies, in partnership with Josefina Petrus.

José María, his wife Dominika and daughter María took us for a tour of their ecological farm in Lanzarote. First we inspected the immaculately clean preparation rooms, which have been added to the farm and were required for their special Consejo Regulador de Agricultura Ecológica (CRAE) status.

Dominika with the horsesDominika giving Lula a carrot

Next José María guided us to the seedling area where we learned that everything they grow on the finca originates from seeds harvested from their own crops that haven't been genetically modified in any way. If a new seed is required they are ordered from an ecological source in Germany. The seeds germinate in their homemade compost and are irrigated with a special compost tea. After 4 weeks the young shoots are transplanted out into the field.

To comply with the strict ecological standards, all of the plants and animals at the finca have to be treated with natural products to treat any ailments. When desalinated water is used, it is drawn and stands for 24 hours to dissipate the chlorine.

Teresa the camelLula the cow

We were then introduced to the livestock, Paloma is the oldest, she's a 28 year old donkey and María’s favourite. There are some real characters at the finca, Teresa the camel was amazing, she was so curious about the visitors and made us laugh with her antics. Dominika had some carrots in her coat pocket and Teresa would nuzzle up to the families faces for a cuddle and then go searching to find where the carrots were hidden. Lula is a beautiful big brown cow who shared the paddock with a herd of sheep, the youngest of which had been born just the day before. The sheep are of a breed that doesn’t grow wool, they adult females normally have two lambing seasons in 12 months and can have lambs at any time of year. A vietnamese pot bellied pig also made a brief appearance.

Ecological ChickensEgg Production

We passed through a paddock and stables with horses and another donkey, the younger one was playful, his name's Oscar and he's only 7 years old. The next stop was the free range chickens, whose eggs are sold from the finca. Dominika explained to us that they don't breed chickens as you never know what sex the eggs will be. It was interesting to find out that it costs €3 to buy a 1 day old chick and it costs €8 in food before that chicken lays their first egg.

Pequin chillies grown in LanzaroteChillies & Green Asparagus

José María is a member of the La Tanganilla Asociación for ecological agriculture and livestock in Lanzarote, he’s also the farmer with the most hectares of certified organic land on the island.

We walked the land which opened up to offer fabulous views down to the Risco de Famara, there were lots of rows of chillies and strawberries present, plus some experimental produce such as an aubergine from Thailand. There was a lot of bright yellow fruit past it’s best on one of these plants and José María explained that unfortunately it hadn’t proved popular on the island as yet, it should have been cut and marketed when green, but had been left to go to seed.

José María harvesting strawberriesView to Famara

At the far end of the finca was a section of passion fruit, which was offered for us to taste, it was fragrant and lovely, a bee hive was also evident in this area. La Sarantontona has a wonderful selection of fruit trees including mora, fig, lemon, mango & papaya. On the ground, other than chillies and strawberries the main crops include sweet potato, onions, lettuce & green asparagus.

Peter Pan bread,  egg yolk & white sweet potatoCheese from Quesería Tajaste

We made our way back to the house where a feast of local produce had been prepared especially for us. We were treated to white (Roja – La Canaria) and orange (Cuban – Yema de huevo) varieties of sweet potato, various jams produced by the finca, fabulous cheese from Quesería Tajaste in Tinajo, artisan bread from Panadería Peter Pan and some delicious pumpkin soup.

Eco BatataFinca La Sarantontona Jam

Before we left the finca we purchased some jam and freshly laid eggs to bring home with us. Produce from Finca La Sarantontona can be purchased at the specialist food shops Biotienda & Herbolario in La Villa de Teguise, Tienda Verde in Tías, Herbarium in Costa Teguise, Mundito Verde in Puerto del Carmen and Naturalmente in the Argana Alta area of Arrecife.

We visited this finca with the Lanzarote Active Club.

Related Information:
La Pastora de Haría
Gluten Free & Ecological Shopping in Lanzarote
Finca Tres Peñas
Finca de Uga