Lucy Tuesday, take three: The Farmer

19 Sep

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After Lucy’s great time out at Rancho Chilamate, I decided another farm experience needed to be in our future.  Plus, I just learned that the teachers at her school were planning an entire unit devoted to farm life, so the timing seemed ideal.

Since Morgan’s Rock was financially prohibitive (read ridiculous), I decided to ask around.  I contacted our friends up at Finca las Nubes, an organic farm located on the outskirts of town, about a possible visit. Though the farm itself is not open to the general public, Natalie was kind enough to arrange a visit for Lucy and me, along with a couple of other friends. Please visit their website to learn more about their mission, their commitment to permaculture principles, as well as their clinic, skate park, woodshop, accommodations, and more.

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A little uncertain of exactly what to expect, we were pleasantly greeted at the gate and given directions to meet Giovanni at the chicken coop.  The tour could have ended here and the kids would have gone home very happy campers.  All 4 kids (ages 18 months – 4 years old) had a ball feeding hens, finding eggs, and imitating chicken struts and clucks.  We had to peel the kids away in order to continue on with our adventure, but not before we took note of the three beehives cultivating honey just above our heads.

Giovanni then took us to the farm’s organic vegetable garden.  He showed the kids cucumber, basil, tomato and zucchini plants, as well as calala (passion fruit) trees and more.  The kids enjoyed a game of hide ‘n seek among the plants and tall grass.

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From there, we headed up to find the cows, only to learn that they were out to pasture.  And while we didn’t get to experience milking the cows, the older kids enjoyed searching for the vacas along the verdant paths and found just as much joy in collecting sticks and identifying flowers.

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We parted ways with Giovanni at this point and drove ourselves up to the main house where the kids were able to see deer (venado in Spanish), as well as the resident capuchin monkey, Juanito.  Juanito put on a great show of swinging from the tree branches, hopping on the back of the deer, and happily eating bananas. The kids were equal parts fascinated and terrified and our buddy, Liam, even got up the courage to share his graham crackers with energetic Juanito.  Sadly, my camera battery died just as we met dear Juanito, so not many pics here, but I reminded myself that the experience was far more important than the photo.

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We wrapped up the morning by taking in the stunning views of the San Juan Bay and the lush valley below (and taking a turn on the rocking chairs and horses handmade in the on-site woodshop).

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Spending a gorgeous morning outdoors, beneath the shade of the beautifully forested farm was enough to call the day a complete and total success.  The experience also provided a wonderful opportunity to talk with our kids about the origins of the food on our plates.  And the impromptu Spanish lesson on plants and animals was pure icing on the cake.  But above all, I found great joy in listening to Lucy recount her adventures of the day to Justin over dinner that evening.

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