Juicy Summer

What an amazing summer!  I spent the first two weeks of July  in Costa Rica, Central America, with a group of 29 energetic kids and three other adults. I’d never been there before, so I did not know what to expect.

I did know however, that we would be spending some time on a farm and eating lots of fresh food. The experience was just absolutely amazing. There were fruit trees on the property where we stayed for nights 1-3 and 13-15; tangerines, grapefruit, passionfruit, oranges and cherries. What a pleasure it was to pick fruits directly from the trees before eating. All juicy and delicious, but one of my favourites was found on the farm. The ramboutan ( they look like little sea urchins growing on a tree) On the farm we found the outrageously delectable golden ramboutan. It was an immediate addiction, but then we could not find them anywhere else. We had to settle for the red ones. We’d been introduced to these the year before in Malaysia, so it was quite a delight to find them in Costa Rica. They seemed to be everywhere; on every fruit stand and we stopped at almost every one and even used them in our Amazing Race challenges.

We drank lots of fresh coconut water, called “pipa” in Costa Rica, learned how to make chocolate from fresh cocoa pods, grown right there on the farm. We picked and cooked a squash and saw the largest soursop ever. The entire experience was almost other worldly. Our meals were prepared exclusively from farm fresh items, edoe chips, stewed black beans, fried green plantains, heart of palm salad, chicken and pork. Even the cheese was from the farm. It was truly an inspiration for me to work even harder toward a farm to table lifestyle. I have now redoubled my efforts.

Of course the farm was not just about eating. We worked hard, planting over 200 trees, building a wood storage shed, rebuilding the chicken coop, and a gravel pathway. Oh, and we also crushed cane, painted tires and made our own empanadas.

It was labourious, but loads of fun. Afterall, the food was scrumptious.


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