Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 53

This morning after breakfast we headed to Chakra Suiza, another local sustainable farm.Paulina, the woman that owns it, is 73, with Swiss roots, and she and her family do a remarkable job producing most (if not all) of their own food as well as many extras to sell to others.

I fell in love with her little pregnant weiner dog who is due to give birth next week. It was so cool to feel the puppies moving around in her belly!

Paulina showed us around her farm, her extensive gardens, and some of the many wonders she has maintained there.

Here is where roselle comes from... it is the meaty part behind the hibiscus petals!
The beautiful water hyacinth here are in the little frog pond beside the garden. Paulina keeps the pond there for insect control!
This carrot gone to seed looked JUST like Queen Anne's Lace... I was amazed!
Paulina pulled up this mandioca for us to see...

Apart from so many fruits and vegetables, Paulina has a biodigester on her farm that collects the gas produced by cow manure mixed with water. Two small buckets of poop are all that is needed to make all of the gas they use to cook and for other farm uses each day.

Curious piggies...

The other amazing thing is a pyramidal root cellar that they have there. It’s oriented in a specific direction so that it captures lots of good energy from the universe. Apparently, if you put dead batteries in there for two weeks, it will recharge them (even if they’re not rechargeable!)… so very cool!

I got to try my hand at milking a cow for the first time... and it wasn't too hard! I guess all that midwifery training really paid off...
They make and sell many different grass-fed preserved and smoked meats at Chakra Suiza, and oh my goodness they are delicious! You would have been in heaven Stephen...
Baby sleeping in meat kitchen... so comforting and warm... oh, wait.
Doesn't this little kitten look like Conan? She was his doppelganger...

Paulina and her daughter cooked us the most delicious lunch, and we all feasted outside~

Paulina says her solar cooker can boil a kettle of water in 20 minutes on a sunny day... that's 10 minutes faster than our propane stovetop can do it at Mama Roja!

Paulina makes delicious jams and tinctures too... here is the one I bought: pear and canela jam.
We spent a few hours in town while we waited for the hot springs to open, but by the evening had discovered that they are closed due to the drought. So, on a whim, we all decided to go to Kim and Marcelo’s friend Fabian’s house. He runs a hostel called Refugio Verde (Green Refuge) that is a gorgeous teeny world nestled into the jungle.
We went swimming in the pool, something I haven’t done in ages, we had a techno dance party for a good long time (Coop had some awesome moves, and even taught us how to sign the “What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more…” with ASL), ordered the most delicious empanadas I have ever had, and enjoyed hours of wonderful conversation. What an amazing day!

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