Chocolate, The ‘Big Tree,’ and 1001 Ways to Use Manure

What a week! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in Ecuador for just over 7 days. Working on the farm at Rio Muchacho has been an eye-opening experience for all.

We rise at dawn to help with farm routines such as caring for the pigs, horses, chickens, and guinea pigs and harvesting food for breakfast. After breakfast, we move into our organic farming intensive course. The course began with an overview of the many problems associated with the Industrial food system and the basic principles of organic methods of growing food. One of those principles is to return all organic matter to the soil. We have been getting up close and personal with that concept this week exploring many varied ways of turning human, plant, and animal waste into soil – dry composting toilets, vermiculture (warm composting), urban composting, Bokashi (15-day composting), and many others. One common statement I’ve been hearing from the students is how amazed they are at how little is wasted on the farm. Every output is converted into an input and animals are used in a variety of ‘systems’ to efficiently process everything with minimal energy use.

We’ve been sneaking in a few afternoons of fun, too. Earlier this week, we hiked to the ‘Big Tree,’ which looks like it belongs in the movie “Avatar.” (Pics forthcoming once I download from my good camera.)

We’ve also been picking up some local cooking techniques, and have thus far made chocolate, cheese, cookies, and coffee, all from ingredients harvested on the farm. Here are a few pics of everyone making and then enjoying some chocolate:

That’s all for now!

One thought on “Chocolate, The ‘Big Tree,’ and 1001 Ways to Use Manure

  1. Great pictures. They look like they are having a great time. I’m sure they are learning so much. Can’t wait to hear more.

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