Jaime, Howard, Lil' Ivan, Brad, Kim, Santiago y Marisol
Here's how things work lakeside. We started our day with the goal of visiting Rancho La Salud, an agro-tourist organic farm just west of Ajijic, located just before your arrival to San Juan Cosala. Knowing of our interest in sustainability, our friends Kim and Howard invited us to tour the farm with them. Any opportunity to tour an organic farm and spend time with Kim and Howard is welcomed, so we loaded up the family van and headed west.
As we coasted down the cobble stone streeted hill towards the carretera, we spotted Santiago, his wife Marisol and their son Ivan. Informal introductions made, the next thing we knew, Santiago and his family were in the van, riding with us to the farm. We soon discovered that today was Ivan's 7th birthday, so we all wished him happy birthday in ingles y espanol.
Kim and Howard had met Jaime Navarro, one of the developers and investors of the farm, at a gathering. Jaime was to meet us at the farm to guide us through his project. Jaime is an amazingly astute, intelligent, conscious and courageous spirit. He led us through their large greenhouse areas, which had just been harvested of delicious, top of the line, blackberries.
Rancho La Salud
Empresa Agro-Turistica productora de cultivos organicos certificados bajo invernadero y cielo abierto. Nuestra produccion orgánica es apoyada por nuestros huespedes en las cabañas del rancho quienes "trabajan" para mejorar el entorno resultando en un beneficio para "todos".
The company is an agro-tourist producer of certified organic product, grown both in greenhouses and open air. Our organic production is supported by our guest who stay in our cabañas and work to improve our existence, resulting in improved quality of life for all.
Somos una empresa Agro-Turística con cultura orgánica integral. Producimos vegetales cumpliendo normas orgánicas internacionales para su exportación y consumo local. Hacemos partícipes a nuestros hospedados voluntarios en los diferentes procesos que vinculan la producción orgánica con la actividad turística: capacitación, germinación, ferti-riego, composteo, cosecha, selección y empaque. Trascendemos nuestra cultura para que la gente viva la experiencia de armonizar su vida con otros seres vivos de la naturaleza integrándose con el aire, el fuego, la tierra y el agua. Contribuimos al desarrollo de conciencia de la multiversidad y unidad del espíritu humano.
We are an agro-tourist company with an integral organic culture. We produce vegetables that meet international organic standard guidelines for export y local consumption. We include our guests voluntarily in all facets of the process, melding both organic agriculture with tourism. We transcend our culture so that people may live a harmonized experience with other living beings, connected to nature, integrating with air, fire, earth y water. We contribute to the development of a multiversed, universal consciousness and human spirit.
Somos apasionados del balance ecológico global como medio para sostener nuestra libertad como seres vivos. Estamos comprometidos incondicionalmente con la salud integral de la gente, generando productos y servicios congruentes con la cultura orgánica, trascendiéndolos a su impacto sagrado de mejorar cada momento la vida de nuestro mundo
We are passionate about ecological balance, as a way of sustaining our liberty as human beings. We are unconditionally committed to the integral well being of all people, generating products and services congruent with organic culture, transcending its sacred pact of improving each moment of life on our planet.
Now 7 Year Old Ivan
Jaime Explains It All
One of the challenges of arriving in a new place is getting to know its flora y fauna, and if you are an organic farmer, also getting to know beneficial insects, as well as unwanted pests. Jaime explained that the local castor bean plant is used for natural pest control...this is info that I need to share with my friend Charis, whose garden is needing the benefit of this plant.
Jaime then took us into his guest cottage, which is rented for short term educational and work stays. His refrigerator was full of recent first-rate harvest product. 90% of this harvest is sold to Driscoll for exportation primarily to Europe, and 10% stays to be sold locally.
Harvest Seconds (which we gratefully purchased for future consumption)
Other endeavors at Ranch La Salud are experimentation and development of both hydroponic and aquaculture. We were given access to the aquaculture area where Tilapia are being raised in a controlled environment, and their waster water used for plant growth after volcanic rock filtration.
From the look of the lettuce startings, the plants are liking the nutrients and care.
Primary volcanic rock filtration
And so with our hats off to Jaime and after many Gracias, we bit farewell to Ranch La Salud.
We promised to return to tour their sister project which is a co-housing development just north of the organic farm...but that is best left for another amazing day lakeside.