Ana Maria and her family had always traditionally lived close to the subsistence level, with the market paying only $20-$40 for a 100 pound bag of corn. That changed dramatically with Ana Maria’s transition to goldenberry, which she exclaims has been “excelente!” Ana Maria explains “…that what makes goldenberry different is that it provides a regular and reliable income for my family – producing fruit for at least six months of the year and TerraFertil paying a fixed price and buying all her production”. In a bumper period – which can last for three months of the year – Ana Maria can earn between $200-$800 a week from her 1,500 plants! Smiling fondly, she tells of how “..my kids love to suck on goldenberry fruit, that I also use it for marmalade, for fruit juice and to add flavor to our morning oats drink”.
The goldenberry crop generates benefit into Ana Maria’s wider social circle too. Her husband – Humberto – who used to take part-time construction work wherever he could find it, now prefers to stay at home and help with the goldenberry crop, and their three children are all at school. During harvest last year, Ana Maria provided work for her neighbors, spending over $3,000 on paid labor to help with the crop. All very worth it as goldenberry brought in $7,000, leaving Ana Maria with a healthy profit from her investment. Ana Maria and her family have been able to construct a new house, and are now considering buying a pick-up to save money on transporting their goldenberry to the collection center.