Friday, May 18, 2012

Farm in Argentina

Well its been wonderful here in Argentina. There are so many monkeys in the trees.  You can hear them making sounds and they will sit and watch you from the trees.

The farm is amazing with tons of fresh products.  Fresh yogurt and cheese and bread.  They make all types of fruit marmelades.  Of the marmelades here my favorite is apple and my next is fig as well as the dulche de leche.  Also they have bees and make honey. We picked mushrooms and have cooked them a few times now.  Ever day we make a batch of fresh fruit juice to drink. The rice here is not processed like white rice so it has more flavor and nutrients. The one we eat is called missiones but they have many different types of rice, none of which I have ever heard of before. The butter I can eat plain with a spoon its so good, but I never end up eating it because the olive oil is so good. We take fresh eggs from the chickens daily as well as pick fresh greens for a salad every day.  They also have lots of fruit trees.
Other interesting things about the farm.  They have two types of cows and have about 100 cows with about 50 of each type so the mixture of fat and taste is what they want in the final product. They sell meat, beef and pork and make their own sausage and salami as well. They make their houses out of adobe and have grass growing on their roofs.  They have biogas from the animal manure to have gas to cook and heat the water.  They are a biodynamic farm and are all organic.    

My experience here has been fun.  We have a large lunch and eat with the family.  And most people take a nap after lunch.  I have had a great time doing lots of different things.  My favorite I think is making cheese but bottling juices for sale, and making marmelade were also fun as well as working with adobe to help finish the walls, and the indoor wood oven for breads.  As well as taking picking some fruit, making granola bars,  taking the fresh eggs and feeding the chickens and milking the cows (which is just putting them on a machine)   Mostly I have been labelling and packaging products but I have had the chance to do many other things.

Off to Nicaragua in a few days.

Monkeys in the trees will sit and watch you

First time I have seen a peanut plant.  These were pulled up to dry

This is called hibiscus and is used in teas and drinks.
They sell dried Hibiscus at trader joes and it looks like gummy bear candies in the shape of a flower.  Well the flower is quite succulent looking.  

a bush in the pond with red worms on it

Red worms close up

We made papaya marmelade

We bottled fresh grapefruit (both yellow and pink) juice with some orange mixed in

The juicer

The grapefruits

Adding the tops to the bottles

This is rice and a piece with the shell taken off.
 White rice is processed even more.  They grow tons of different types of rice here. Most of which I have never heard of.
They have chickens ducks and even an ostrich.  

Cheese fresh out of the salted water its been in for two days.  

Milking the cows.  

Gouda with oregano

Gouda Cheese agring.

We made

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Paraguay Missiones and Esteros Del Ibera Park, ArgentinaPark Esteros Del Ibera

Well Paraguay was a bit of a disappointment.  After taking two days and lots of money getting a visa I went to Paraguay with high hopes.  I tried to go to 4 national parks and struck out because of limited transport to the parks or the parks were closed.  I then went to the missiones the biggest tourist attraction in all of Paraguay and they were nice but do not take much time.  The best part about the missiones is that I saw only one other tourist it was a family from Paraguay and other than that I had the missiones to myself. I did both the Missiones in Trinidad and Jesus (where there was not another tourist) but they are about 15 minute ride from each other.  Though transport to Jesus is not very frequent and taxis if they can be found are worth it.  I spent about 5 days in Paraguay mostly on buses.  I saw one other tourist (from England) who was just as frustrated as I was as she was not able to get where she wanted due to lack of transit.  I did enjoy abundant chipa (a type of cheesy bread, and sopa paraguaya a type of cheesey cornbread) and had probably the best empanada I have had which was filled with a soft cheese and creamed corn.

Jesuit Missions in Trinidad Paraguay

Jesuit Missions In Trinidad Paraguay
 Back to Argentina.  Since I couldnt make it to any parks in Paraguay I went to Carlos Pellegrini inside Esteros Del Ibera.  The park is very nice though only has transport there once a day.  I went camping for 45pesos but the camping facilities were nice.  I saw so many birds as well as monkeys, carpinchos, and otters.  For some reason the night tours and the boat tours werent running while I was there but I would have done them if I could have.

Lots of these birds taht would walk right up to you in Park Esteros Del Ibera, Argentina

Lots of Parrots in Park Esteros Del Ibera

Lots of birds Park Esteros Del Ibera

Lots of woodpeckers in the street or you can hear and see them  ¨pecking¨ the trees

Lots of birds by the lake Ibera

Carpinchos were everywhere

They let you go right up to them

Lots of monkeys on the trail

The otters were very curious

Very peaceful.

Too bad its blurry but it kepts popping out of the water to come and look at me. 

Birds everywhere in the park. So many different kinds and colors

And a beautiful sunset over the lake of course.