Cotacachi / Cotacachi / Cotacachi Indigenous / Ecuador gardening / Ecuadorian food

Kurikindi: Cotacachi Organic Farm

Kurikindi Farm is a multi-cultural experiment in more ways than one.  No monotonous rows of monocultured crops here.

You’ll find a rainbow of colors and varieties on their farm and even the veggies are multi-cultural.  The owners grow the usual Ecuadorian crops of lettuce, carrots, cabbage and beets, but you’ll also find daikon, pak choy, mizuna and tah tsai.

The owners of the farm represent more than one human culture as well.  Aya, who is Japanese, married Hector from the nearby village of El Batan.  Even their website and blogs are a compilation of Spanish, English and Japanese kanji.

They are raising two young daughters.

And some of the healthiest, most vibrant organic vegetables I’ve ever seen.  Their 1 1/2 hectare gardens literally pulsate with energy.

Aya’s blog has recipes for Japanese favorites such as miso and koji.

Aya and Hector also built and run an organic market housed in a traditional thatched building on the farm. Most of the time there are volunteers around to help with the farm chores, weeding, watering, and working on the new straw bale house under construction.  Their oldest daughter is usually a great help in the market, too, sweeping up with a little broom.

Every Thursday at 2:15 in the afternoon the farm gates open to admit hungry shoppers who swoop down on the fresh, just-picked produce that is for sale.  The last time I went to the farm I was drawn to the heady fragrance of bouquets of fresh basil and as usual, bought a large bar of organic Ecuador chocolate.

For those who don’t want to drive out in the country to pick up their vegetables, Hector will hand-deliver to your door a large basket of pre-selected vegetables. All for only $5 a basket. (Organic chocolate bars are extra.)  All you have to do is fill out your order form a few days beforehand.

Kurikindi Farm is experimenting with all things organic, low-tech and sustainable.  They have constructed dry composting toilets to conserve water and lessen pollution of the soil.

Even their washing machine is off the grid, operated by foot power when they can find someone willing to ride the bicycle.

The straw bale house is another hands-on project.  Along with their work crew they make the adobe bricks on the premises, stirring up a custom mix of earth, straw, horse manure, sand and their secret ingredient, cactus juice.

I’ll have another blog devoted to their straw bale house, a work of art made with mud and love.

Getting hungry?  To get on the drop-off list for the freshest, most succulent veggies in town, you can e-mail Aya at–