Discover Heirloom Designated Cacao Farming in Costa Rica
Finca Terciopelo (or the Chocolate Farm), has been in production in the southern part of Costa Rica near the town of San Vito since March 2007. Owned by Secret and her late husband Jim, it is in a rural, off-grid location near San Vito. Finca Terciopelo was designated as Heirloom in 2015. Since then, they have shared their heirloom seedlings with many small farmers throughout the region.
A few years after buying Finca Terciopelo, they purchased their second farm, Finca Secreta in the Diamante Valley, where they have established a cacao plantation offering tree to bar and educational tours. So far, 1,000 seedlings, saved from the most productive and disease resistant heirloom designated trees at Finca Terciopelo have been planted at Finca Secreta.
At Finca Secreta, they hope to play a role in reviving cacao production in the Diamante Valley, which was once abundant in this area, but has been replaced with pasture for cattle. Finca Secreta had been a tree plantation and consisted of 65 acres of Amarillon tree monoculture, which they have slowly but steadily been harvesting and replacing with a great diversity of plants and trees. The farm is also the last large farm in the area growing sustenance crops and aims to keep the tradition of farming alive.