I am a city-raised woman, so a lot of my friends were surprised when I told them I was going to live in an organic farm in the Azores. Their thought was probably something like “Natacha, really?”. Yep, really.
Our organic farm – Quintal do Dragão (Dragon´s Backyard) – is certified and despite not being very big (it has 4000 m2) you can´t imagine the variety of vegetables, legumes, herbs, fruits and edible flowers that you can find here. Lucky me to have this garden just outside my door!
What about my tasks on the farm? I help my boyfriend Hugo whenever I can, but it is mainly harvesting what nature has to offer (and eating, of course). When I have some free time I also like to sow, plant and weed. Actually these activities can be very relaxing as my brain simply “turns off”. It is just nature and me.
Living on the farm is a continuous learning process, full of new experiences. It is so amazing to watch a plant grow: once a seed (and they can be so different), then a plant and many years later a tree. It is so beautiful to see the cultures changing throughout the year (e.g.: summer brings us strawberries and raspberries and winter custard apples and guavas) and then eating accordingly. It is so inspiring to look at the busy bees, dancing from flower to flower, collecting the nectar for the soon-to-be honey.
I simply love being here.
Vegetables & Legumes
Variety is king in the farm, but everything in small quantities. Here you can find from artichokes to fava beans, from kohlrabi to parsnips, from arugula to peas.
We have a large variety of medicinal and aromatic herbs, not only because we deeply believe in their healing power, but they also give the right kick to any dish.
We simply love fruits. They can be small like strawberries or big like watermelons, a bit bitter like raspberries or sweet like custard apples. It doesn´t matter!
When you add a flower to a dish it makes a difference, no doubt about this. Besides the aesthetics, edible flowers have also health benefits. Just give it a try!