Lumbisí is the name of the community I am currently staying in. It’s right outside the city of Quito and next to Cumbaya, where USFQ is located. It’s a community of about 40 something families that basically all know each other- they always say “buenas días,” “buenas tardes,” y “buenas noches” to each other (“good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “good evening,” respectively. What’s even cooler is that most of the families have gardens where they grow their own vegetables and fruits! My family has a garden in the back yard filled with corn. Yes, CORN. When I saw it I was like “nooooooooooo there is no escape!!” In fact, when I wake up in the morning and look out the window, I see the marvelous corn:
However, the difference between this corn and the corn in Illinois and the rest of the United States is that there are no chemicals used in its production. Yes, it’s organic, whole, all-natural, pesticide-free! This is the best kind of food there is and it’s so good for your health! My family constantly tells me how high quality their produce is because they don’t use chemicals to treat their plants. My family also owns some farmland about a few miles away closer to the mountains. I went with my host mom this morning and we harvested beans and potatoes to eat for lunch. That’s how it is here- you grow your own produce so you can harvest it and eat it whenever you want and it’s always fresh! I love it, I love it, I love it! Here are some more photos of the homegrown fruits and vegetables:
This is a tree tomato (“tomarillo”). If you didn’t figure it out from the name, yes, it’s a tomato that grows on trees. The outer peel is thick, tough, and bitter, but the inside is sweet, soft, and tastes like if a tomato and a papaya had a baby.
This is my host dad getting a guava out of the tree for me! Some of the leaves on the tree are yellow because they don’t have enough water. Unlike the United States where water is readily accessible and abundant enough to water plants, in Ecuador, they have to wait for the rain. And apparently, there hasn’t been a lot of rain so a lot of the plants are a little yellow.
They have a mini-greenhouse sort of thing going on where they’re planting tons of regular tomatoes! Tons of bright red, sweet, juicy tomatoes! I prefer these over the tomarillos because they remind me of home and my dad’s garden.
These are green beans! As I just mentioned, there’s been a little bit of a drought so the leaves are yellow. The beans tasted great though! I’ll write a post tomorrow about some of the dishes I’ve eaten here so far! I’m trying to learn how to cook traditional Ecuadorian dishes from my host mom!
Here’s a mini mango! It’s not as sweet as the mangoes we have in the United States (usually imported from Mexico or the Phillippines) and there isn’t as much edible matter. It was still tasty though and super fresh. I’ve tried some other fruits too that I didn’t take pictures of, including blackberries, raspberries, and plantains. Oh, so delicious!
That’s all for now! Just wanted to share how much I love my family’s organic, homegrown produce. It’s really how all food should be in my opinion. Going to bed early to wake up early! Hasta mañana!