We were welcomed by the owner’s son at a “patrimonial farm house” in Chiloé’s rich agricultural heartland, the Rilán Peninsula, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
After our chef’s guided visit to the local farmers’ market in Castro, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile, a small group of us visited a “patrimonial farm house” in Chiloé’s rich agricultural heartland, the Rilán Peninsula, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile, for a tour and luncheon featuring local food and drinks. At the farm we learned about traditional methods and local customs.
The farmhouse we visited was in the style of traditional German architecture, built from local alerce wood, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
All of the woodworking on the farm is picturesque, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
We toured the farm’s vegetable gardens, fields and orchard (pictured), Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
Portrait of the 95 year-old founder of the farm who thrived in the area by being the first to divert the nearby river into irrigation channels, Rilán Peninsula, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
The owner’s son explained to us that his dad (with whom we had cocktails) was a pioneer on the peninsula when, decades ago, to solve the perennial problem of a lack of sufficient water to farm the land, he got permission and dug the first diversion channels (“canals”) from the nearby river. This gave him water not only for irrigation, but also for turning a water wheel which gave him hydroelectricity. With electric power, he was able to turn the front of the farmhouse into the local dry goods store and remain open after sunset with electric lighting. The patriarch and his family took the ferry boat to Puerto Montt on the mainland once a month to purchase the supplies and stock for his general store. After our luncheon we had a chance to see the store (preserved now as a museum) and read old accounting ledgers.
Outer farm buildings and one of the irrigation channels dug decades ago by the founder, Rilán Peninsula, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
After our tour of the farm we were welcomed on the farmhouse porch with wine and juices, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
The smokehouse where meats and fish are smoked for consumption on the farm (and served to guests), Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
Home-smoked local salmon and homemade cheese as appetizers with the variety of drinks, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
The owner’s son pouring delicious ulmo sours (Pisco sours sweetened with the syrup of a tree native to the south of Chile), Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
A platter of broiled Chilean hake (fish) being prepared for our luncheon in the farmhouse’s dining room, Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile
At the end of our visit we found out that we had been quite fortunate in scheduling this trip, as the farm only hosts two or three small groups each year. In addition to the farm being recompensed for the tour and hospitality, we were pleased to learn that a portion of our destination experience fees were donated to the local native farmers.
Our luncheon’s main dish was a traditional Chilean outdoor fire pit “boil” with seafood (mussels, clams), fish, bread, sausage, pork, and local potatoes; Chiloé Island, Patagonia, Chile