Living off the land in ECUADOR

check it out 4 freshly laid eggs and they’re all different colours. How cool is that? what real eggs should look like welcome to Ecuador this mega-diverse country sits along the earth’s equator and is inhabited by over 17 million people. Because of the proximity to the equator there are only two seasons year-round wet and dry. We are now entering the dry season. This past week we drove a few hours down the coast from Mompiche to a slightly larger beach town called Canoa. Thanks for our favourite app of all time I discovered a weekend yoga retreat at a finca close by and this is where our story begins What an amazing way to start the morning. We are at ‘Finca Pinguino’ which is a farm owned by a French Canadian couple with their beautiful daughter Lili. After having an amazing weekend doing the yoga retreat here I was so lucky to be invited back and to bring Max & Occy along for a week stay at the finca to harvest food work on the farm and really experience this life that they have built here in the last four years first things first I’m quite hungry max is in the kitchen making us some breakfast morning unicorn, hey there We’re talking coffee and how to achieve good iced coffee. Good morning buddy Simon thank you for having us. It’s my pleasure, thank you for coming. I hear you have a big day planned for us yeah well I’ve heard you wanted to sweat so Soa started with Yoga this morning yeah I’m gonna continue with planting trees and working the farm perfect very excited I’ve made some more of the old fashioned Dough bread, bringing it back. They’re getting nice and fluffy! So one of the coolest things about this food forest around here is that everything has a purpose so the eggs are hatched straight from the chickens and then the eggshells are actually really good natural compost so you don’t even have to put them in the compost you can put them at the bottom of the tree and they’ll compost right away as well as bananas and coffee grinds. so we’re just gonna make a vegetarian omelet and I need to get some cilantro for the omelet as well as green onion so first from the herb spiral I’ll get a little bit of this guy off to the green onion Now this structure behind us is known as the yoga shala which is where the volunteers stay and where people stay for the yoga retreats upstairs it sleeps 6 and downstairs is the kitchen. As you can see here is the daily schedule so for the ants and for the soil it’s na legume and then another legume is the guava tree these are the trees we have to plant this week and we’ll try to do it all today but we’ll see How we go. I’ve got a bunch of things for you to plant so let’s get to work So basically it’s all in the wrist, you want to go like right above the ground

and which plants this one? Canavallia. And what’s that for? So that’s a legume plant that produces flowers for the bees, it produces beans for us to eat it is a nitrogen fixer so it really gives back way more than it takes to the soil [and it helps control the ants] that’s right According to the schedule it’s time to harvest our food for lunch, almuerzo we’re foraging the Aji which is hot peppers and they’re too hot to touch but max is going to eat one isn’t he? [Laughter] It’s a bit of a slow build. Why are you walking away from the camera? I just need a bit of space.. I want to see your watering eyes I was already sweating. Okay I want to try. Careful with your fingers after, you’re going to have to wash them. Really eh they are just going to burn? Wow you reacted well Meanwhile mines still going down I can feel it all the way down here you must not need many of these to make your aji no no you need three three three or four, but my dad goes with like 50. 3 or 4 for the entire hot sauce? Yeah for a pot. okay that makes sense okay mines still kind of going, mine is too some how. Mines getting worse. The truth will come. I’m not doing it by the way 0:06:43.280,0:06:54.400 So while you’re feeling the hot peppers, any regrets about moving to Ecuador? Ahah, no no that’s uh that’s gotta be the worst interview in the world [laughter] all right so now we’re just picking them [Laughter] This is proof of yesterdays harvest, squash And next we are getting Yucca. Wow look how long that one is! Said that before So did you know how to do any of this stuff before you moved down here? No, I’ve never ate yucca before. You just learn everything from scratch and just really it’s like University you think you learn fast and then some things happen and you have to learn faster after that like the earthquake we had to figure out some things but it’s just like it’s exciting every day it’s pretty pretty fun and a new challenge yeah definitely problem-solving and creating as well So to get the yucca out of its skin you cut it in half and then peel off the skin so there’s no need to peel off the dirt and then you wash it afterwards it’s actually quite easy And then we’re grating it to make yucca hash. By the way I don’t think we actually formally introduced you to the vlog. Anyway this officially is Soa, meet everyone. Hi. She is the lovely female owner of the land here and your background.. you we’re born in Madagascar right? I’m born in Canada or you’re born in Canada? Yes my parents immigrated in the 1970’s… born and raised French Canadian, but I’ve been to Madagascar a lot. In Quebec, yes Montreal So whose idea was it more yours or Simon’s to come here? Both Simon wanted live somewhere else and I wanted to be at the beach, so here we are Well thank you so much for having us and teaching us all of your delicious recipes yeah and we want to find out more about how this happened at a lunch I think yeah so we grated the yucca, we took out the starch now I mixed it with eggs from the farm a bunch of herbs I’ve got cilantro basil oregano and rosemary and then some sea salt and a little bit of oil So we are going to make patties with it these look and smell incredible, yeah they’re quite alright. Pretty addictive Every time you’re like, “I’ll be right back”, I’m like, yeah no worries! So we were talking yesterday or

before about you guys since you’ve been on the farm for four years in May, you’ve come so far from what it look like when you first got here. What’s your vision for the long term with this farm? I really feel like this can be like an open space for so many things, but mainly to disconnect from technology and connect with nature for so many people Ecuadorians tourists from from everywhere in the world or just like our neighbors trying to create something that’s really communal and attracts people and just have like the yoga of the meditation have the trees the Reforestation project. Eat directly from the farm Something that we don’t do anymore. And that’s really hard to do in cities. And know the value of it. It’s marvellous to just pick your own food and see how all from the garden to the plate Yeah exactly I think it’s awesome that you guys are curating a place that people can come and feel welcome and feel like they can become a part of your vision and your dream. And I mean that’s something that we definitely look for while traveling as well. It’s just like finding meaning in our travels as we go and like getting involved with people in community and yeah what you’re doing is creating an awesome community here Those hash browns were absolutely delicious, along with the hummus and the homemade hot sauce. We are now gearing up for an adventure. As a reward for our hard work we’re going for a hike to look for the horses, because we’re hoping to go for a horse ride. Haha this is insane grass! Do you want me to machete for a bit so you don’t get too tired out? How were you doing this black magic? Practice So Simon, you told us that this was a bit of a rough hike, but I didn’t realize we’d be trial blazing here. He spotted one. Where? I can see his head What’s your thoughts on barebacking Lee? I would try it Everyone should know you should always be pretty careful approaching a horse from behind I actually got kicked by one when I was three I might just stay here. Aww Mani is running. Oh no Probably good that we left Occy at camp. It’s pretty sweaty business out here Sorry Cacao. I’m not giving you a very flattering angle I know. Okay Okay It’s not over yet Yeah but he recognizes that I’m the weak link. Oh no! No no not me not me! Don’t go my way! Oh wow! Wow! You go Cacao and Simon! Cowboy from Quebec! And so Simon, as you’re walking away Did you ever grow up on farms or anything? No, city boy! Simon is further proof, like we’ve been saying from the start. You can learn to do anything. Yeah He’s a city boy from Quebec and he’s killing it over here. Yeah it’s very inspiring. I think a lot of people think that anyone that chooses to do this kind of thing starts in a profession that they’re already doing something similar and I think the other misconception is they think people have a lot of money Simon and Soa are examples of people that didn’t have any idea what they’re doing they’ve just jumped into it, and they also didn’t have a lot of money. But they’re making it work. Yeah, they had the passion the motivation and the courage to pick up everything pick up their lives and try something different that’s much harder but can also bring so much more gratification yeah. Occy’s going to be so jealous when he watches the video and sees this is what he missed out on we’re gonna come out one angle he’s coming out on the other now we’re gonna try to corner them. so we’re going for mani Or pichiche? Guys there’s a pig here. A pig?? I’m coming. Oh hello, oink oink. Oh no sorry buddy

I think it’s definitely more of a case of Mani leading Lee than Lee leading Mani, he’s taking her own little excursions. I think he knows your personality already Haha he’s got her figured out in about two minutes. I can be assertive you show him Lee. I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone For your kind words about last week’s video so glad you all enjoyed it and yeah we’re gonna continue to mix things up that’s about it good work team! Simon I have to say I’m very impressed he’s barebacking yeah. You’re looking legit. I’m feeling legit. damn girl those high socks. Occy’s sad he can’t join us unfortunately Occy hasn’t really been around horses enough and he’s a bit of a liability we don’t want him to get kicked Aw such a natural. we are off. How are you going Lee? Good So especially with Cocoa you have to be strict with him when you pass through it – oh and him too How’s it going Leee? Good Haha you coming up the back there? Hey this is me and Cacao’s we’re not letting you pass buddy we’ve finally got the lead. go! you’re looking way more confident now. I’m feeling way better. It’s kind of a turn on Cacao what was that you stayed in front for like two minutes Thank You cacao. That was a really cool experience and I’m just gonna hazard to guess there’s never a dull moment living on this finca it’s not even that late but I’m so tired like waking up at the Sun at 6:30 we got up today. It’s just been a long and awesome engaging day. Alright well I think we are all pretty wiped today from the awesome activities, thank you for a great day. Max and I we’r saying that we probably barely skimmed the surface of all there is to learn about the farm. It’s been so good. We had such a good time out here If you did have one piece of advice for someone that’s looking at maybe doing whether it’s Ecuador or you know anyway they’re thinking about making a move and completely changing to do this kind of thing farming and you’re living more off the land, what would that piece of advice be? Can I go, can I go? just do it Do it try it however you want to do it just try it and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work you just go back home if nothing is definite it’s not a one way ticket. exactly you want to taste everything so just try and taste it and then you’ll never have that regret of you know I always wanted to do this but, at least if you do it and you don’t enjoy and you come back you know you’ve tried you’ve probably grown as a person learnt some things about yourself thank you yeah once again guys so much for having us and yeah we learned a lot from you yeah so stoked to have this experience and then also to have met all three of you and you know, be able to come back. Yeah and to say now we have some new friends out of the situation. Now we have a reason to come back to Ecuador, eh Max? I’m sure we’ll find a few but this is definitely a big one that is wrap guys if you live in Ecuador or you’re thinking of traveling to Ecuador definitely consider coming to this finca it is such a beautiful one and authentic way to see Ecuador and they also have a yoga retreat every couple of weeks we’ll put the link in the description below definitely and we had a very hard time cutting this video down to under 20

minutes as the we had so much fun here if you were interested in longer videos on our patron page we do have extended versions of all of our weekly videos so head on over there’s a link at the very end check it out otherwise we will see you next Sunday see you next Sunday thanks for watching