Last fall, Thomas & I went on a 4 month trip through South America. I suppose you could call our stay on a farm in Argentina a 'highlight' but that would be grossly understating its impact on our trip & our outlook on a lot of things in life. Huerta de Vida ("heart of Vida") is the name of this austere & humble plot of land, situated about 2 hours south of Mendoza in a sleepy town called Tunuyan. It is owned by Margot, a 60-something expat from the US, who at the time of our arrival was by running the place by herself with a cast on her arm. She refers to her move to Argentina & subsequent establishment of this farm The Great Escape.
Sometimes you don't realize how a place or person is changing you until way after the fact. Our stay was mostly comprised of feeding animals, reading, making food, and talking late into the dark night about people we'd met, where we came from, and what kind of life we wanted to carve out for ourselves. So many things Margot said would later rattle around in my head: The idea that despite the conveniences of modern civilization, people should still have a relationship with the earth & know how to cultivate land. The beautiful & true phrase "there are some places words don't go." The fundamentals of permaculture, deep ecology, and composting. And of course the very tangible skills I acquired: how to set up an irrigation system, how to make eucalyptus tea, how to feed a baby lamb, how to plant a tree, how to kill a chicken, and how to make empanadas.
This video provides a brief look into Margot's mission at Huerta de Vida. There are more photos below - of the many animals, the small cabin we stayed in, the greenhouse, and of course, the majestic view of the Andes, just past her neighbor's field of garlic.