PLEASE NOTE
FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY
IT IS NO LONGER SUGGESTED
TO VISIT THE "ECUADOR FARM"

Hola, my name is Ondrej, I have moved to Ecuador from Europe. In 2008 I have got an extensive but affodable property in the rainforest region. Here, in the fresh, organic and stress-free environment, I am working manually, relaxing the mind and cultivating the body - recovering myself from years of the office life in a city.

My goal is to learn about sustainable agriculture, here, in the climate where the nature never gets a rest, and to produce an abundance of organic food on a fully self-sustainable farm. First, I have to investigate how our eating, sleeping and luxury habits are forming our World.

Another personal ambition is to learn about the jungle plants and natural medicine. This way I want to offer some hope to people who are loosing their health by the lifestyle driven by our current market-driven civilization, and where the current western medicine has proven to be short of a hand.

In meantime, I hope to awake ambiental conciousness of the local village people, to whom the original habitat is rapidly being cut, drilled and sold. I also like to talk to the kids about protecting the nature and teaching them some English. We are meeting in a club of the enviromentally concious youth, organizing tours, taking pictures of the wildlife, while talking about the past, present and future of the Amazon rainforest. And learning...

 

It involves conscious work to sustain us alive, happy and growing. We welcome volunteers to join the starting community. We live free of money and we share all the food we grow.

 

Update January 2011
Ondrej has left the farm in pursue of further adventures in Latin America and volunteers manage the project themselves. Check out their blog on Ecuador farm. They also maintain the Couchsurfing profile.
Welcome to join the projects
Agriculture
  • Removing weed from the land, preparing soil.
  • Growing basic food (banana, yuca, papa china, maiz, beans)
  • Seeding fruits and fruit trees (pineapple, orange, lemon, lime, cacao, castor apple, palm fruits)
  • Herbs and spices (onion, garlic, ginger, lime grass, sugar cane)
  • Organic pesticides (tobacco, chillies)
  • Humus production
  • Ecologic greenhouse
  • Re-introduction of the native jungle fruits

Construction and handcrafts

  • House and furnitures from natural recycled materials (bamboo / chonta beds, lamps, wardrobes)
  • Ceramics (pots, mugs, and other kitchen utensils)

Teaching and social work

  • Teaching English language in the local school and some Portuguese to us..
  • Free-time activities for childern
  • Documentary photos, work with the camcorder, making crazy movies...

All volunteers are kindly invited to join all of the above activities, in order to extend the skills and to understand how the project is sustained by concious work and solidarity among us.

Impressions from friends visiting on the farm

Pequeño Bendito Pequeña Rose y Bolita Pequeño Writer

Bromelia

Orquid

 

Visit Ecuador Farm
Welcome to Ecuador Farm situated in the Amazon rainforest, in the provice of Pastaza, on the fronteers of the Sangay Volcano National Park. Everyone coming in peace is welcome to visit on the farm. We work with the neighbours and we cultivate many organic foods and create hand-made arts. Volunteers are welcome to join this project, there is no money involved.

Yellow flower in my garden Orange flower in my garden Flowered tree in the garden

The farm extends on 48 hectars, of which about 17 hectars are covered by pastry and pending a reforestation project. The rest of the propery has always been grown a forest, of which a part seems to be an original rainforest, yet all the quality wood trees have been cut off and sold by the previous owner, or fallen by the soil erosion. The wood exploation and subsequent cattle production is the most common practise which is rapidly changing the landscape along the via from Puyo to Macas.

The reception house
The original house situated next to the road, now serves as the "reception". It is half-way to the "real life", yet with a lot of post-modern-world luxuries like electricity, gas-cooker, running water, comfortable bed and mosquito nets. It was build by the native people living in the sector, but in a modern style, ie. using an oil powered wood-sewing technologies. The water from the pipe is perfectly drinkable, good taste, coming from a public pipeline with the source at the neighbouring property.

The reception house.. ..and view from the window.
Preparing fruits for the birthday party Comfortable beds for hosting artists
Reception main house Pequeños benditos at the table


Our little guardians

Mauro preparing home-made bread

Bedroom at the reception house

 

The garden

Guanto of rose flower   Guanto of white flower

Climate
The farm altitude is about 1000 m above the sea level, which makes the ecuatorian weather just right. It is never too hot, but always warm enough to walk in a T-shirt and shorts. Basically, the weather varies from shining sun to a heavy rain. The temperaturs are relatively constant during the day and night, around 27 degrees Celsius.

In some seasons, there used to be a "summer" with more sunny days, while during some "winter" seasons you may have had expected a rainfalls. Due to climatic changes, however, it is not possible to define any seasons anymore, so let it be a matter of surprise: sun or rain - god knows.. That also means an abundance of fresh, life-giving water refreshing the air and vegetation.

Morning outlook on the sunny day.. ..and a rainy afternoon.

Activities

Products for exchange

Organic food
Have you even killed an animal that you were feeding and petting before ? I prefer not to kill my dog, nor any other pet to serve as a dish. Hunting for the wild animals like armadillo, guanta, vatusa, parrots, tucans and other jungle animals is not an option on this self-protected territory. So, wanting it or not, we mostly remain on a vegetarian organic food, of which many would easily be called a banana. Available animal proteines include the diary products (yogurt) and eggs.

Fruits

Chirimoya (Custard apple)
Sweet and juicy fruit that I have never tasted nor seen before, as it never gets for export, only to be eaten fresh. Afer collection, it lasts only 2 or 3 days, therefore even on the local market the fruit of chirimoya is valued high in comparision with other local fruits. There are several chirimoya trees in the garden, and we are in the project of reforesting some 100 more trees.

Chririmoya
As seen from the bedroom window.
Chirimoya
Jasmin posando con una linda risa.
Chirimoya
Sweet and juicy fruit open.

Guayaba, aromatic treat
Sweet-parfumed fruit you may know from the imported juices is here growing all over. No need to pick them, you just shake the tree and the mature ones will fall down. The shaking season is at least from February to May. Guayaba is one of the best fruit tree candidates to reforest the pastry land, as it is being seeded by the birds themselves. With its amazing aroma, this is the best fruit for marmelades, flavouring the juices and coladas (a juice-like boiled oat drink).

Guayaba tree flower Guayaba fruit Mature guayaba fruits
Guyaba tree flower
One of many fruit trees in the garden
Guyaba fruit
Fruits maturing on the tree
Mature guyabas
Crazy aromatic waiting to be sucked

More fruits

  Wild lemon that reminds a mandarine Orito bananas tree
The flower and fruits just before getting mature.

Bananas
There are over 8 varieties of bananas grown on the farm itself.

Small sweet Ecuatorian banana, variety "Oritos"

 

Orito bananas has to be collected while green, before the birds, monkeys and bats eat them. Orito bananas, when collected right, mature within a week or so

Platanos, unknown variety

Platanos also to be collected green, but to be cooked. Delicoious organic platanos cooked in the mug-made pot

Jungle fruit

Wild avocado "paso" grows in the jungle part Harvesting on the banana field situated below my house.

Chocolate

Cacao fruit open Cacao beans sundried

Producing chocolate

     

 

Food: ants season

Ants dried or to be eaten alive bite fast or be bitten.
Ants toasted Chontaduro - palm food

 

Sugar Cane
A neighbour runs a small sugar cane factory, processing his own sugar cane once a week. The final product is either the sugar cane sirop which we use to prepare our fabulous chocolate, or a brink of brown cane sugar designed for sale on the local market or exportation. Learn about how they produce the organic cane sugar.

Before
Freshly cut sugar cane right before squeezing
After
Dry cane itself becomes a fuel for the owen
Juice
Sugar cane juice being collected and cooked right away

Sugar cane squeezing
The sugar cane is being squeezed on the self-made machine. At least two persons are necessary to operate the squeezing process: one pushing the fresh cane into the squeezing, the other collecting the squeezed pale to let it dry and reuse later as a fuel for the owen in which the cane juice is being cooked.

Pushing the cane into the squeezing machine This is what he gets

Sugar cane cooking

Heating the sugar juice to vaporize the water Cleaning the juice before it gets thick

Organic sugar cane products

Miel de caña (Cane honey)
Sugar cane sirop
Panela
Brick of the brown cane sugar

Have you ever realized how much swet is in your cup-full of sugar?

Animals

There are pets, farm animals producing food and wild animals freely walking through the farm.


Guinean pigs (cuyes)
Local children visiting cuyes

Cuyes
Pequeños cuy producing manure


Other farm animals
Living in the kitchen in between the parsley


Muñeca† and Oso
Sister and brother

Some more birds from the garden

Bird A tiny colored frog

Animals that we share the house with ..

Cameleon
Common visitor to our house hunting for insects.
This lizzard is believed to have a poisonous touch.
Fruit bats
They moved in while the house was abandoned.
Now they overday in the roof.
A giant cockroach
There is always someone to share the dinner with.
Tarantula spider
Said to have a poisonous bite.

Wild animals and insects

Rare bug
Found next to the road.
Scorpio
Green bug Milpies

Insects

Insect "caballo" Extra large caballo in front of my house Worm that hurts

Giant snail
Fauna to preserve, or a protein-full dinner?
 

Butterfly

White orquid spider

Scorpio spider

 

 

Natural medicine

Sangre de drago
Sangre de drago Sangre de drago

Cure against laziness
"Ortiga" is a local name for a nettle-like plant which is used as a natural cure against laziness. I recommend it before and after making love ♥♥♥ , apply better on reproductive parts of your body.

Ortiga cure
Refreshing and healing
Ortiga pleasure
Few hits of the blessed cure
Ortiga cure
Refreshing and healing
Ortiga pleasure
Few hits of the blessed cure
Ortiga healing feeling
Ultimate cure against laziness

Medicinal plants and trees

Milking tree River

Enviromental projects

Reforestation in the garden
Felix is planting Pilchi tree, fruit of which is used for handcrafts
Fruit of the Pilchi tree
Used for various handcrafts, like a jar to serve chicha
Crazy about plants
Botanical research and clasification

 

Roman and Mauricio seeding a cinamon tree. Volunteering on the farm - seeding cacao.

Ecologic construction

Building a jungle lodge Bases of the jungle lodge
Getting the roof up. Roof up!
Jungle hut ready! Living in the jungle hut

Jungle hut from chonta


Hi-t3k living in the jungle hut 2
Jungle hut 2 ready!  

Such a perfect working day

Machete kung-fu
Cutting the fallen bamboos
Mauricio
El maestro
Bringing the bamboo up-hill
The more ecologic, the more swet.

Farm Products


Milking the cow
Both mama and baby cow seem quite unhappy about that..

???
"Milking gringo .. what the f.ck...!"

Neighbors


Cowboy Jairo
Posing on the horse..
Cowboy Jairo
..but he can climb it himself
Cowboy Jairo
.. and ride it like crazy.
 
That's Cowboy Jairo
Himself.
  Cowboy Jairo
& our lunch.

Art projects

Ceramics

Inspired by beautiful ceramics in Canelos we try to settle a workshop next to the house. This way we avoid buying most of the kitchen utensil, that can be easily produced from the local mud. The tradition revives in the new generation.

Canelos
Pretending some work in the ceramics workshop.

Canelos
Getting help with smoking my first hand made mug.

Filming in the jungle with native actors

Education and social work

Teaching basic English in the school. School kids

Excursions

Excusion to the botanical garden "Las Orquideas" in Puyo. Luis, Carla and Carlos, environmentally concious.

Leisure trips

Canelos is a village situated some 20 km downhill from the farm. The village is famous for its traditional hand-made ceramics.

Canelos
A free adrenaline adventure: jumping from the bridge to the river.
www.pastaza.com/canelos

Tashapi
The waterfall in the neighbourhood.
www.pastaza.com/tashapi

Testimonials and words from the visitors

Hello my name is Francisco, I stayed in the house of Ondrej and it was amazing the nature, the pure water, the sounds of the nature, the good food, bananas, chirimoyas -a lot- I had crazy good time and the work of Ondrej inspired me to do the same, from now on I'm gonna find a beautiful natural place full of forests to preserve it, to learn how to live with the nature, to grow my own food and live for ever happy with this beautiful planet.
PURE INFINITE LOVE FOR EVERYBODY ♥

Being of Light
The Pleiadians (your friends from the future)

Contact: ondrej@pastaza.com