El Prado Expo

I haven’t updated in what seems like forever. First, I didn’t know what to write about. Then, I didn’t know how to formulate my thoughts into words. And lastly, my computer died last week. Thankfully my mom is letting me borrow hers until I get it back from the repair shop.

My aunt is currently visiting us from Miami so I’ve been quite the busy tour guide!

This post is dedicated to our day at Expo Prado last Thursday. I’ve been wanting to go since we got to Uruguay two years ago but something always came up during those days. The expo is a agroindustrial fair where the country’s best animal farmers bring their prize animals for auction. It’s also where merchants come to show off their latest farm inspired goods ranging from machinery to fashion.

Walking into the fair grounds I quickly got nostalgic for the yearly fair that takes place in Miami. The smell of churros quickly hit my nose, balloon vendors were bombarding us and I just knew it was going to be a good day.

Hereford bull being brought out of the pen to spread his legs.
Hereford bull being brought out of the pen to spread his legs.
Hey Mr. Cow! Be nice!
Hey Mrs. Cow! Be nice

I’ve seen my fair share of cows before but never like this! Prior to moving to Uruguay I literally thought cows came in the black and white variety and that was that. Very small minded of me but hey, I’m a city girl. Carlos was showing off by telling me all about the different breeds, where they originate from, and how they came to Uruguay. I swear sometimes it feels like I don’t even know who my husband is!

We were separated from my mom and aunt for a bit so we decided to check out the goat pen. We used to have goats on the farm but after four died from their mischievous antics, we decided that while we love goats we weren’t suited to own them. Turns out that we have our own little goat seeing how PJ decided to climb into the goat pens.

After walking around aimlessly for a bit we came across an beer stand. For those of you that don’t know, Carlos is an avid beer drinker. As for me, as long as it has alcohol in it I’m almost always in. The beer selection was the usual Uruguayan Patricia selection along with some imported beer like Budweiser and Corona. We decided to try some Argentinian beer called Patagonia. It was delicious and I’ll definitely be looking for it at the exotic beer shops in Montevideo.

Patagonia.
Patagonia.
La Oriental Beer Company
La Oriental Beer Company

We found a little playground area in the back of the park and let PJ run around and release some steam before we decided to keep walking around the animal pens. It was nice to take a break and let her enjoy herself. After awhile we kept exploring and found a little alleyway of sorts that led us to a tiny amusement ride area. PJ originally wanted to ride the teacups but she is still too small so we coerced her to give the carousel a try. As you can see in her photo she’s just a little ball of sass.

Hi Mom!
Hi Mom!

Past the rides, there’s an area of artisanal shops selling things like leather boots, purses and even cheesy tourist keychains. My aunt ended up buying herself a mate cup along with some souvenirs for everyone in Miami.  From that point there were more alleyways leading to different parts of the park but PJ was getting cranky so we left.

Overall, we had a very nice day together and I definitely plan on making this a yearly tradition.

If you ever find yourself in Montevideo in the month of September I would definitely take the time to come to the expo. It’s a nice for a family outing with good food, animals and rides for the kids.

Would you like a kiss?
Would you like a kiss?
My own little mountain goat.
My own little mountain goat.
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Living on a farm: Chacra Canaan

When we decided to move to Uruguay, my parents had it in their mind to live on a farm.

You see, my dad was born and raised in a small town outside of Havana, Cuba. He grew up around livestock and crops. My mom was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She grew up in the concrete jungle. Two TOTALLY different upbringings. But throughout my parents 30+ years of marriage, my dad had been planting seeds in my mothers mind that when they retired they should end up on a farm, that only those who are self sufficient will succeed at the end of the day. I mean, yeah sure he’s right but whatever let’s be real you raised your kids in the sprawling suburbs of Miami. Does it look like we were prepared for farm life?

I’m sure living on a farm in the States–along with most industrialized countries in the Northern hemisphere–is a little bit different. Cold weather probably means snow and all sorts of weather conditions I am in no way accustomed with. You probably have barns to keep your animals in and to be honest I don’t really know much else about farm life except for the animals or barns.

On our “farm,” which is really just two houses on a plot of land with eucalyptus trees, bamboo, and fruit trees, along with 20+ sheep, 6 cows, 5 pigs and 25+ piglets. Our fruit trees bear apples, pears, persimmons, figs, plums, peaches, and guayaba. While yes it is nice to grow our own fruit, my goodness it’s annoying to have a surplus and have to get rid of them. We normally gift to our neighbors or people in town but even then we can’t get rid of them fast enough.

View of the little eucalyptus forest in the back
View of the little eucalyptus forest in the back
These are our yellow plums. So sweet and delicious!
These are our yellow plums. So sweet and delicious!

Right now we’re trying to really focus on organic farming. We are composting and have a farm breeding area behind the pig pen so the chickens and birds won’t try to eat them. Our plans for the next few months are to build greenhouses to then grow our own vegetables and try to be as self sustaining as we can be. It’s not going to happen over night but I feel confident that we will reach that goal one day.

Some of our sheep. We named the texel (the white faced sheep) Belle. She’s a milking sheep. She always answers when we call and just so happens to be my favorite. She was pregnant with her twins here.

I’ll update on how our farming is going throughout the year. I’m still learning as much as I possibly can. It isn’t easy but new beginnings never are.