Farmers rarely go on vacation. Especially livestock farmers with a family.
Prior to children and farm. I used to travel more. Work in Tropical countries. Stuff of winter dreams compared to what my recent winters have lovingly and chillingly been.
I decided it was time. We needed that time away from home that makes the heart grow fonder and warmer.
So i planned a trip for the family to the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. Its safe, warm, relatively close and familiar since I worked there at an ecolodge in a small mayan pueblo, for 6 months, about 10 years ago.
This is where our adventure started……
Genesis Eco-Oasis, Ek Balam
Owned by a dear friend, Canadian Ex pat, Lee Christie, Genesis is a lovely little retreat right near an amazing ancient pyramid and cenote in the still mostly traditional mayan pueblo of Ek Balam. Please see her website for further information www.genesisretreat.com . I had the privilege to experience living in the pueblo all those years ago and wanted to share that with the family. (I will post more pics at the end of this for you.) Lee and I shared many of the same ideals regarding permaculture and food sovereignty yet it still came as a surprise to me that she had started a farm around the same time as we did, although this was not a conscious plan either of us had when i was there. I was so excited to see a somewhat parallel farm dream in operation down here in the yucatan. Well, here we go….
Lee privately purchased a 200 acre farm within 5 km of her retreat for 66,000$USD!!!! Nice. If only prices in Halton were similar…..
She has heritage cows, pigs, chickens and ducks, as well as a donkey, a few cats, a Lot of Dogs ( she has a big heart for the poochies and has saved a number of mexican street dogs amongst her other veterinary efforts there) and a growing garden and orchard. ( sound sorta similar?) Oh and she has a few farm hands she pays a generous living wage of approx 30$/day to!!! (She pays more than the hotels in cancun and they get to stay home with the family)
Lee hosts WOOFers and hopes to be a full time farmer soon herself too.
The land there is very dry and can be very very hot. Supplies are not as readily available and there are a full host of tropical insects to deal with too. On our trip,I had the extreme displeasure of dealing with quite the Chigger infestation. Which resulted in a near hospital visit ( i ended up taking care of things myself and am still dealing with healing).
Regardless, we greatly enjoyed our tour of the farm and the rest of our trip too. We managed to put 2500km on the rental car and saw most of the yucatan that we had hoped. It was a fabulous first farm family adventure and i look forward to planning the next one!!!
Upon returning home, we are all newly appreciative of our farm and our animals. It was lovingly tended to while we were gone and all is well. Here we are now, gearing up for another fabulous season in 2015! Hope to see you out at the farm!