Building beauty, ecology and profitability, one farm at a time.


humitas 559 397 vidacycle


There are many traditional Chilean dishes that use corn in innovative ways. Humitas are a perfect little package of corn cleverly contained in the corn husks. We used the corn we harvested from the garden, washed the millions of ants off of it, put the husks to one side, cut the corn off the cob, and then ground it up in the food processor.


We grated up some cheese, chopped coriander, chillies and had lots of salt and pepper to hand and added this to each little corn package. There is definitely an art to wrapping up the ingredients. We found it was really important to keep the husks in water so that they were more maleable for wrapping and didn’t crack. Also we used scissors to cut the end where it was most curved as often this caused the husk to split.

You can freeze them too, so we found it was quite good to make a lots at once and then freeze half of them.


refreshing simple courgette salad

refreshing simple courgette salad 559 397 vidacycle


Courgettes (or zucchinis) aren’t particularly popular with many of the locals here in Chile. However we made this super simple salad using thinly shaved courgettes and they loved it! The recipe is below:

feeds 4

4 small/medium-sized courgettes

6 tablespoons delicious olive oil

2 tablespoons agraz


grate on lemon zest for added flavour

Take a whole courgette, use a peeler to thinly slice off layer after layer of the courgette (no need to take the skin off or anything like that) into a salad bowl. We’ve found it’s easiest if you turn the courgette around every so often so you are peeling from a different side, keep going until you can’t peel off any more and then compost the left over ends. Do this for all courgettes.

Mix the dressing separately in a small bowl. Start with the olive oil, then add 1/3 as much Agraz, a pinch of salt and pepper and grate in some lemon zest for extra flavour. Give the dressing a good stir together, then pour the dressing over your bowl of courgette strips.

Enjoy the delicious light flavours!



cantaloupes 150 150 vidacycle


Hundreds of cantaloupes are flowing from under the large leafy greens in our vegetable garden. They are a glowing orange inside and taste much sweeter than we have had when bought in a supermarket.


skyscapes 150 150 vidacycle


This Summer we have been lucky to see some incredibly epic skyscapes.


agraz experiments

agraz experiments 150 150 vidacycle


We harvested some of the low-hanging grapes early again this  year to make a small batch of Agraz. This time we wanted to experiment, so we picked the grapes earlier (mid-January) so they were a bit smaller and had less sugar (maybe none?) than last time. We wanted to see if it was possible to bottle the Agraz without pasteurising it, and if so how long would it keep for. You can see the 25L canisters we filled with the very raw bitter grape juice. Watch this space for the results….


Precision pouring techniques getting the Agraz into the storage canisters from the buckets.


Cleaning the press before we throw all the grapes in!



blueberries 150 150 vidacycle

Some of our neighbours in the Loncomilla Valley grow blueberries, most of the fruits are exported to the U.S but luckily they do keep some back so the locals can enjoy their delicious flavours too.


They grow many different varieties so that they can harvest ripe tasty blueberries from October to March.



tijerales 150 150 vidacycle


The roof is on the ‘comedor’ (dining room building), so we celebrated with the traditional ‘tijerales’ party with all the workers. We had an asado (BBQ) with lots of delicious food and drink; the courgette salad was a surprise favourite with everyone – recipe details to follow…



The beautiful curves have come alive inside the space – now the outside area is being crafted, to create an idyllic spot where everyone can eat our delicious organic vegetables surrounded by the olive groves.


pruning olives

pruning olives 150 150 vidacycle

Last month Francisco, an olive expert came over to discuss pruning techniques for our trees that vary in age from two to five years. Pruning convention is to leave the straightest shoot with the strongest growth and prune away everything else below about 50cm – this leads to a perfect tree for harvesting. Sadly, this didn’t seem to be working for us as repeated late frosts hit the young trees hard. On trees where there was only one shoot, if that shoot was damaged by the frost, the whole tree died back and had to start again.


This year we decided not to prune and the trees survived the frosts much better. Although there was still some die-back, it seems that the unpruned trees had more chance of survival – there were lots of other shoots and branches on the tree that were still growing strong. Also maybe the additional growth around the base provided some extra protection from the frost.

So we combined our experience with Francisco’s initial advice and settled on a pruning technique that leaves two strong shoots for all younger trees, that way each tree has two lifelines and more chance of surviving late frosts. We will see if this works come next October!


baby olives

baby olives 150 150 vidacycle


The tiny beginnings of this year’s olives are peeking out after the flowers have fallen away.



promise 150 150 vidacycle


The vegetable garden once again shows the promise of delicious foods to come. The maize is sprouting tall, the squash plants have built their shaded nest with their large leaves and the fruits are bulging green on the trees.




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