Carlos Lopez: Dripping Springs Garden

September 27, 2011

I’m very thankful and proud to be a MESA Steward! I haven’t had any problems with my hosts, they are very supportive and good people. Also, I can tell that the MESA Staff is very supportive too. I’m having a very positive and life-changing experience by participating in the MESA program. One thing is that I became interested in a vegetarian diet.

One of my hosts (Mark) and one of the interns have spent several weeks in India a few years ago. That’s been a big influence for turning into vegetarians, and also they say because it’s healthier. One other intern says the same thing, being vegetarian works better for his body.

Even though there are not many vegetarians in my city in Peru, my brother is one of them! It was kind of difficult for him to find vegetarian food in some restaurants. Ivy, an intern at the MESA office once asked me that ‘why do vegetarians eat meat-ish(or meat shapes) food such as meat-ish steak made of bean something like that although they don’t want to eat meat?’ Well….. yes, I made fun of him every time I saw the tofu cut into meat shape. I don’t know why it’s made like that, maybe they still think “meat” tastes delicious 🙂

To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy changing into vegetarian diet at Dripping Springs Garden (my host farm!), but I really am! I’ve tried new food and I’m specially delighted by the Shiitake mushrooms (which we grow in logs at the farm, they are really delicious!) and food like Tempeh (which we get from one of the intern’s brothers). Michael (one of my hosts) has prepared rice burgers a couple of times, and their tastes are better than any other burgers I’ve ever eaten! I have also learned how to cook. I have also learned how to make Sauerkraut. (it is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria.)

We’ve eaten many vegetables and soybean products at the farm. I think all the food we have at the farm is wonderful since most of it is organic and grown by ourselves!