Monday, October 12, 2009

In support of rural farms

During our travels the other day, we discovered a street festival in support of the agricultural areas of the south.

There were booths celebrating the importance of good, nutritional food and clean water. Some booths displayed the most wonderful produce, fresh cheeses, breads, herbs, grains and beans.

Some women were busy cooking food... 'cuy' (guinea pigs), corn tortillas (more like pancakes), potato/herb stews...all displayed for sale, as well as to show the bounty of the farms in the area.

Roasting cuy on a stick...

Note the different indigenous clothing from the various communities.

Look at the size of this squash!

There was also a religious service... a gentleman (perhaps a shaman? definitely a leader) who lead the crowd through a special sacred service. He asked the participants to face north, then south, east and west, with arms raised. He asked everyone to send good tidings, friendship and peace to our global neighbors at each phase.

We would have taken more pictures to share, but we wanted to be respectful of the moment. This picture shows the clean-up phase, after the service. Note the rose petals on the ground. The rows of petals defined the special space. Two women sat on the ground inside the space and a pot of incense (we smelled sage) burned between them.

This festival also celebrated the Pachamama (Mother Nature) and
the rights of food sovereignty...

We brought home some of the fabulous produce! Huge beets, very fresh parsley and a bunch of herbs. Our Ecuadorian friend tells us the herbs are the basis for a health tonic that many Ecuadorians, including his family, drink at the start of each day.
Following his directions, Rich prepared the tonic...

Here are the flowers and herbs...

Going into the pot of hot water, to cook for about 5 minutes...

Lovely RED color of the 'tea'!

Rich says the drink made him feel better... Nancy wasn't sure. The taste was 'interesting'... mint, anise, flower-y, herb-y... tasty, in fact!

We added lemon juice and some sweetener (we used Splenda), as our friend does. Will we make more? Probably!

We had to laugh...while drinking the juice, and waiting for the 'reaction', a small earthquake hit! Obviously a coincidence, but now we can tell folks the juice 'rocked our world'!

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