Monday, January 27, 2014

Llifen Valley

Sunday we had the most exciting opportunity to look at a property in Llifen Valley (pronounce yee-fen)
which is a pristine secluded valley in the Andes overlooking Lago Ranco which is about 2 hours north of Puerto Octay.

Ver mapa más grande

It was a roundabout way that we got invited by Adrian & Pat Dufflocq to come for lunch and view the property they had for sale. Pat's brother is an Opus Dei priest in Santiago. I guess he knows Richard, our host, and they were talking about the property for sale and Adrian got our email. We had to cancel our trip 2x because of the weather but it was worth the wait because the view is spectacular on a clear day.
Adrian & Pat bought this property in the 1960's. He ran a fly fishing lodge here for many years. He added to his property in the 1980's by purchasing the piece we looked at on Lake Maihue which if you look at the map it is the smaller lake to the east of Llifen. It has only a couple of houses on it and is largely inaccessible except by boat.
First, i've included some pictures of their home/lodge where we had a delightful lunch over some most interesting conversation.

Prounced coo-meel-a-way
It is named for the river which flows through their property
The name is mapuche indian for red river so named because in the spring it is covered in red blossoms from the notro tree

We had a delightful lunch on the patio under the trees

After lunch, we drove about a mile down the dirt road to the shores of Lago Maihue (my-way) and caught this boat to go over to the property.

The boat on the left is our ferry. The boat on the right is owned by a farmer who owns a house on the lake. He takes his cows and vehicles over on this.

Just a short trip 10 minute ride to the property
The small beach we landed on had lots of small pebbles that were pumice - porous and lightweight
These rained down on the lake at the last eruption of Puyehue about a year half ago
This is the left end of the property which encompasses 32 acres up to the ridge line

This is the right side of the property

On the far right side are a few houses on the edge of the river and behind them is a waterfall which comes from the creek on the property line

Looking back at the landing

This is the headwater of the river that flows from Lago  Maihue to Lago Ranco
There are reeds and lots of water fowl- we saw blacknecked swans and coot

The upper part of the property is pretty steep and rocky
It has 3 pastures which are pretty steep

But it does have some level areas

looking back at the boat landing

the creek runs very well during the driest part of the year though this area does get over 100 inches of rain per year!

A level area near the creek has a nice rock for viewing below

Samuel enjoying the view towards the boat landing and the head of the river
Looking down the river west

To the east and the Andes and Argentina

How would you like to wake up to this view every morning?

The sad end to this story is they are asking $650,000. for the 32 acres and they won't subdivide. At $19k per acre, we thought it was a little pricey. Other drawbacks- no road access- electricity is near but you'd have to run it in - you'd have to buy a barge to get your house building equipment and car to the property- we did get cell service but I don't know how the internet would be - probably slow

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tractors and Hay. Hey!

For most of my early life I endured the drudge of farm work. Little did I ever think that I would grow to miss the farm life. The pasture across the gravel road from our house got the Hay cut the other day and it was so nice for Thomas and I to sit and watch this farm hand at work.
This is a Case 125U pulling a Case Disk cutter

The hay is fescue and is probably about 8 ton per an acre

This cutter went through this pasture like a hot knife through butter

This guy was getting it! I am guessing he was in Hi-5 or Hi-6.
He made quick work of this field.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pesky Sheep

Last foot treatment for this one. I see a grill in her future. That is right we invited her for dinner.
If you remember we originally purchased 3 sheep. Each of these sheep were about one year old or less and have never been bred. We were able to slaughter, at our friends house, the one sheep that had a bad foot. This little sheep was becoming a pain in the back, neck and everywhere else, so I put her on the grill for a nice Christmas dinner (She had it coming and we did too).

Well this left me with only two sheep, 2, only two! I must say that 2 sheep is /are not a flock. It is like having only one sock, one shoe, or something. So I needed to convince Lori that we definitely need more sheep, just to be safe, and besides we could breed them and get little white, fuzzy, cute..... and yummy garlic covered with mint sauce baby lambs in December 2014. Sheep have a 5 month gestation.

I planned out my attack for the convincing and sprung it on her right after she and Emily got suckered into carding, spinning, and knitting, the wool that we already in bags on the porch. It was perfect she never saw it coming. 

Well we purchased two more Ewes from our neighbor Christelle who has about 2,000 sheep on her farm (fundo). The sheep were second year ewes and had already been bred and had a lamb last year, so this would help when Lambing season comes as the older ewes typically do not have problems with second lambs. These sheep have had little to no human contact.
Lori the Sheep Sheering Queen. Who is my love and joy.
Well Christelle delivered the sheep 30 December and Lori and I got to work sheering the sheep. A Ha you say "more wool"! The sheep were real skittish and I was a little concerned so I kept them up in the paddock for a couple hours and then slowly put them with the two sheep I already had out in the yard.
15 minutes later they were back at Christelle's house!

They both jumped right through the fence. One then the other. It was like greased Lamb Lighting! They were "see ya later gone". At this point it was raining buckets, the wind was howling, I mean mayhem. There was not way I was going to catch them. So I called Christelle and told here that the sheep were back home. She said she could see them in the front yard at her house and that I could come and get them in 3 days or so.

Well 3 days later she called and offered me some other sheep in their place if I liked, and I did like, cause we would get two more bags of wool. Christelle did not care either way as they do not typically sheer their sheep ever, as they are mostly meat producers and have no need for the wool.

So I had to devise a sheep retention plan for the new sheep, as they would surely leave as soon as they were put in the yard, just like the last ones. I consulted with some local sheep experts who suggested I put some logging chain around their necks attached to a weight, so that they have to stay in my field and can not run too fast. Also it gives them more time to become accustomed to my sheep.
Look at this pesky sheep. Head high ready to run. We named her "Maaa".

Here is her younger accomplice who has no name. You can not trust this one!
The sheep retention system is working perfectly and they have calmed down. So we will see how long I need to keep them on the chain. I hope to halter break them both so that they come to me when I call. This will make lambing time easier also, no matter how high a fence I build they will always want to get out unless I break them to lead. Which will lead me to another blog post some time later.


Lori went to Osorno to go "Deal Shopping" and here are some of the fresh deals she walked in the door with.
50 Ears of Corn

Tomatoes and Plums and strawberries

The kitchen crew shucking corn

Smoked Salmon

The other day, before Emily left, we went down to the Feria or market in Puerto Montt. This open air market is called Angelmo. The market is located at the actual Pacific Ocean port and is primarily a seafood market as well as an open air market section for tourists that sells trinkets and wool products.

First of all it stinks like fish, which is to be expected, but on the good side the colorful small fishing boats dock here and it is kind of neat to see them all unloading their fish and the bounty of the sea.

Emily, Andrew, Thomas and I bought a large 15 to 20 pound Salmon that was fresh off the boat. The fish monger filleted the Salmon and at our beckoning vacuum packed 1/4 of the fish and gave the rest of the fish to us to eat over the next couple of meals. Emily of course loves Salmon, and she was kind enough to scarf down a good bit of Salmon over the next 4 days.

The remaining section of salmon I decided to slow smoke as I was already cooking on the grill a smoked pork loin. I thought it would make for a wonderful dinner for a house guest we had visiting, but our guest did not show up until 12:30 midnight and the meal was a bust! His loss eh?
So far be it for me to let good food go to waste, so here it is:

Smoked Salmon, Pork Loin, Fresh Farm Cheese, and Crackers with a good Chilean wine. 
I did not season the salmon at all. Just fresh salmon and slow smoke. I was delightful, not harsh and strong flavored like I have had in the USA. Lori said that it could have used some salt, but I do not think so. I think it was perfect, especially with the farm fresh Coumey Cheese. If anything it would have been nice to have some capers, but overall it was easy to make and delicious.