Naranjilla: Jewel of the Andean Sierras

One of our favorite Andean fruits to grow is naranjilla (Solanum quitoense). Also known as lulo, naranjilla is a Solanaceae (nightshade) family plant that produces an edible fruit popular in Ecuador and Columbia. Fruits have orange, fuzzy skin and tart, green flesh. Naranjilla is rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals & contains pepsin — an enzyme …

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The Basics of Rabbit Care

We’ve had rabbits around the homestead for over 4 years now. For the most part, raising rabbits been something that I have really enjoyed. Bunnies are adorable and soft. Their poop is excellent fertilizer. Cutting greens for them twice daily keeps me disciplined to weed the paths and garden beds. Occasionally, our family is nourished …

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The Power of Wild Plants

Not long ago, Kristine posted about a cool edible native, Yacón. This is the first of a long series about often obscure edible and medicinal plants native to the Andes, and this region of the Andes in particular. This post is a belated introduction to that series, and my contemplation of place, and what it …

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Yacón: A Traditional Andean Food

Traditional Andean food crops are hardy to the local climate and quite often thrive without much maintenance in our mountainside gardens. One of our favorites is yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolia), a sunflower relative that is native to Ecuador, Peru & Columbia. Yacón is in the Compositae family and is commonly known as jicama, despite having no …

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Essential Equines

Last post, I focused on goats as a great example of how herbivores can regenerate the land, through holistic management techniques, but they aren’t the only ones within our agroecology. We also have horses, and sometimes also work with donkeys in a similar pasture rotation system, often on their own, but sometimes sharing pastures with …

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Goats — Destroying the Landscape or Healing It

When I hear vegans argue against raising animals, I tend to agree with them, for the most part. Modern techniques favor confining large numbers of animals in dense areas, where disease is common, food lacks proper nutrition, and the animals are deprived of natural behavior expression.  It’s not only the animals who suffer, but also …

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