Tag: organic

:: pacho’s finca ::

The rich volcanic soil of Ecuador is only half the formula according to Pacho.  A man fully wedded to the soil, process, and fertiliser of his organic farm knows a thing or two about what it takes to grow exquisite produce in Ecuador.  Twice a year he opens up his finca in Pifo – out by the Quito Airport – for the curious to come and see the operation and hear him spin his tales of success.

Pacho is a super passionate individual who can talk for hours about the most minute detail of the organic process.  In fact, his favourite topic seems to be the process required to develop the best fertiliser and he talked about that at his huge compost pile for at least an hour the day we were there!  He was one of the first organic producers in Ecuador and still leads training for those trying to emulate his success.

The garden is enormous with rows upon rows of kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, fruit trees and more.  All are interspersed with grasses and weeds which help keep the bugs at bay – a nice little tip we picked up.

He brings in local vendors selling jam, bread, pottery, honey, and beer that share his love of the naturally homemade.  It is quite a scene and whilst we couldn’t fully invest the time to learn the inner workings of a compost pile, we came away with a wonderful appreciation for what is possible and the true joys of a natural garden – something that we love to replicate in our own small ways.

Find out more about Pacho’s Finca at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qC5Ig3T4NY

Check out his open house – Casa Abierta opportunity twice a year

Finca Orgánica Chaupi Molino – +593 99 824 00 47

:: brunch across the border ::

After a few days of life in Maseru we were invited to go across the border to brunch in a small agricultural town called Ladybrand. About 20km away, this little town has an eclectic mix of homes and shops as well as a few churches and community centers. It is also home to an incredible little place called Living Life.

When our friends told us we were going to brunch in Ladybrand we didn’t really know what to expect. As we drove through the lively town past the shops we started to wonder where we were actually going, but then we crossed some old railroad tracks and ahead of us were a few little shed like buildings tucked in under some large trees.

Walking into the main Station Cafe building gave all our senses a workout. After walking past lovely dried flowers and a blazing wood-fired oven in the entrance, we came into a larger room which was bustling with activity. On the table in front of us were large old jars full of sweets and brownies, and off to the left were shelves of sauces and jams. Everywhere you looked there were handmade decorations, delicious treats or dried flowers and plants.

To the right there were two large old metal barn doors leading you into another room full of rustic tables and chairs and a wood burning stove. On the doors written in chalk were the many locally sourced and organic food and drink options available that day, all of which made us feel immediately hungry.

We headed through the room and out the doors onto a lovely covered terrace surrounded by potted plants and tree branches creeping in on the sides. Beyond that were more mismatched tables and chairs in the sun beckoning us to sit and enjoy a slower pace of life.

The children ran off to the wonderful playground area where they bounced on the trampoline, sat on swings made out of tires cut creatively into shapes of animals and swung off a platform onto a rope swing. One of the moms brought some bubbles which delighted them all for a while in the open grass area.

We spent the morning enjoying an amazing organic open omelette with blue cheese and basil and some delicious French toast while getting to know the lovely group we were with. In all there were about 12 adults and almost as many children so there was a fantastic energy, but also peace, in the whole event.

Having discovered this little wonderful little place, I was keen to find out a bit more about it and see how many people actually knew about it. As I browsed through their website I came across some articles that had been written by various design and food magazines (they are also known for their wonderful shop of handmade gifts and decorations). There in one article I learned more about the chef, a ‘local farm girl with a passion for food’, called Cora-Mart. This little discovery was meant to be!


Bear with me on the photo front, we are somewhat limited with our options for editing, posting, compiling etc without our computer…

:: photos copyright malinak photography ::