10 am, Wednesday, January 23. I survey my temporary fiefdom at Susaan and Ricardo’s farm in Nogales, Chile. The epi-center of “Chile Farms” is a wood frame little castle located on a hillock overlooking their orange groves, alfalfa tracts, and fields full of ready for the picking cantaloupes and corn.
Ensconced in a comfy chair on the corner of the veranda that surrounds their farmhouse,
I’m surrounded by an agrarian kingdom Birds twitter, roosters crow, dogs bark, a tractor chugs through the orange groves, and a pool filter gurgles in the back yard.
Panning to the east on my left, I see the tip of the stable, the frame of the new barn which will hold orange produce, and the steep foothills of the Cordillieras de los Andes, dotted with avocado fields and wild espina trees. Beyond them lies the forbidding mountain range that is the spine of South America.
Straight ahead, just over the screen of my laptop, are one corner of Chile Farms’ orange groves and sprawling fields of a neighbor’s neatly rowed green pepper plants with a wedge of shoulder high corn tucked between them. A peek of one of Ricardo’s horse corrals and a patch their vegetable and herb garden lay at the bottom of the hillock.
To my right, the azure pool with its terra cotta tiled deck, and a small patch of lawn bordered with wild flowers. And just over the scrub espina trees on a hillside there are the tops of eucalyptus trees that surround Ricardo’s practice rodeo arena. The backdrop from there is the foothills of the Coastal Range. The Pacific Ocean lies 15 miles to the east beyond.
Time here is measured in growing seasons not by calendars embedded in Blackberrys. I can get used to this.