La Choza

Okay, you smart asses, I didn’t spend last weekend at church, or at the mall. I was at Fundación La Choza, an organic farm about 40 km from the city that’s connected to the Waldorf schools in the area. The previous weekend, I was at the clubhouse for a movie, and a middle-aged Argentine man saw the sign out front and stopped in, then stayed for the movie. Turns out Bernardo is the director (?) of the farm, and we spent quite a bit of time talking to him about it. And it turns out Virginia, the Argentine girlfriend of one of the guys who volunteers at the clubhouse, even used to work in a Waldorf school, and had been to the farm before—the students visit the farm as part of their education. Mia, who’s in charge of volunteer opportunities for club members, also wondered if it might be possible for SAE people to help out there and wanted to check it out.

Bernardo invited us to come visit anytime, saying they have a huge old house with plenty of beds, five dollars a person a night, etc. We were sold—and immediately started planning a trip out there for the next weekend. Virginia offered the use of her car, and the five of us (me, Mia, Virginia’s boyfriend Brian, and James, who was also at the clubhouse that day) met in San Telmo to head off for el campo.

The first afternoon we were given a tour of the farm and their fields and met the dairy cows. We put together a great lunch from organic whole-wheat pasta sold at the farm, fresh tomato sauce, and farm-made cheese, and dinner was even better—Virginia brought a huge batch of feijoada she’d cooked up at home, plus we had more cheese, greens from the farm, and rice, not to mention wine and beer. It was a great meal by the fire at the huge old house where we stayed, which incidentally was built by the family of Bernardo Hirigoyen, who I think was a governor here and a big enough deal that there’s a street named after him in Buenos Aires. We had the house to ourselves, and all camped out in the ballroom to be close to the fire (the only source of heat besides a tiny space heater). The only thing we found ourselves wishing we had was a deck of cards, but we managed to keep ourselves entertained.

We went outside to check out the stars, and it was quite a surreal scene. Across the moonlit, foggy grounds, over by the chapel, we saw a horse, or was it two horses? It really felt like a dream. Especially when we walked around behind the chapel, then James went chasing after the horses, and we were startled by their galloping—thankfully away from us, not towards us.

The focus was really all on food—for breakfast we had cheese, bread made on the farm, fresh yogurt, toasted oats, and amazing organic farm-made blackberry jam. We took a walk out around the land owned by the foundation, and met with the 76-year-old carpenter who makes toys to sell at Waldorf schools and also is working on the new house they’re building at the farm. One last meal of cheese (! I was almost in a cheese coma by the time I got home), leftover feijoada, etc. and we hit the road to head back to the city, not entirely ready to leave the relaxing, green quiet of the farm, but comforted by the bounty of organic jam, cheese, and yogurt that we were taking back with us.

Enjoy these fine pictures.

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8 Responses to “La Choza”

  1. santoki Says:

    Is choza Spanish for “looks like a haunted house?” Could be…

  2. Amy Says:

    That seems reasonable—we heard a few mysterious slamming noises coming from upstairs, but kept telling each other it was “the wind.” Technically, “choza” is a hut or shack.

  3. santoki Says:

    At our age, you should know that there is no such thing as the wind. Obviously, it was ghosts.

    I am working in Gary’s office and just scared myself silly. I even turned around. BOO!

  4. missmobtown Says:

    even the word “choza” is kind of scary. but the food–nothing scary about that.

  5. Jessica Says:

    Man! That house looks so cool. It looks like you’re having an awesome time. I’m trying to make my work send me to Chile, which is so close that I would OBVIOUSLY need to hop the border and say hi….

  6. rebecca Says:

    the organic lunch you put together sounds like heaven! i like how many of your posts include horses these days!

  7. rebecca Says:

    oh, how, or DO, organic standards differ between there and the USA?

  8. Amy Says:

    Hmm, I have no idea about organic standards, here or in the US! I’d guess if La Choza follows any particular guidelines it’d be whatever the Waldorf school goes by, rather than any regional standards.

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