In this week’s post, Madrid Programs Coordinator Megumi Ratliff describes a visit some of our UCEAP students took to a local organic farm in Catalonia. There, students sampled the unique regional cuisine and learned about the business and politics of organic farming in northeastern Spain.
This week, our University of California students who are currently in Barcelona were in for a special treat. As part of a study visit for their Mediterranean Politics, Food & Culture program, they had the opportunity to visit L’Hort d’en Dídac, or Dídac’s Vegetable Garden.
L’Hort d’en Dídac is an organic farm in the town of Cabrera de Mar, located just 30 minutes north of Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast. Dídac, who was our guide, comes from a family of farmers and agriculturists who have been cultivating the land in the area for more than a century. Their goal for the farm is to be able to offer local and organic produce at an affordable price to people who live in the area.
The visit started with a guided tour of the farm, where students were able to see and learn about how farmers cultivate potatoes, asparagus, cabbage, lettuce, and even honey. They use a drip irrigation system instead of a sprinkler system in order to use water more efficiently. L’Hort d’en Dídac sell their produce and other products in several different locations around the area, in their online store, and also in 20 local schools as part of the cafeteria lunches.
To conclude the visit, the students enjoyed an organic brunch made with fresh produce from the farm. Brunch began with a fresh salad which included pomegranate seeds, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and jamon (cured ham). Next up was a savory plate of traditional Catalan beans and sausage. For dessert they sampled several Catalan pastries with crema cremada (“burnt cream,” similar to crème brûlée) and an assortment of fruit.
The visit to the organic farm gave the students a glimpse into how a local farm operates here in Catalonia. The students were eager to learn about the ways in which Dídac and his family are committed to sharing their organic way of life with others and how they make it happen. ¡Muchas gracias! to everyone at L’Hort d’en Didac for making this a memorable (and delicious) visit for our students.
~Megumi Ratliff, ACCENT Madrid
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