The last few days here at Caseria Del Mercado in southern Spain have been all about tomatoes, good times, and some hard core chilling out. I now know more then I have ever hoped to know about tomatoes, seeing how I despise the taste of them.

Picking tomatoes with Joaquin at Caseria Del Mercado

The sun has been shining hard here in south of Spain. Its hitting thirty plus daily with out a cloud in the sky. I’m currently hiding from the sun and heat in my newly discovered hidden gem of an internet spot. The internet only works at the front of the farm and up until now I have been sitting on the roof like an idiot just cooking away. I’v since learned that the internet works in the yoga studio aka the “shala” as it is called here, and my life at the farm has now been upgraded to a whole new level. The shala is a huge square room with a laminate floor, white walls with a high ceiling, and massive windows looking out on to hills. While I sit cross legged on a pile of mats in the corner and type away there is piano music being played softly in the background, a couple ladies doing some sort of silent dual stretching routine and someone else making use of this wonderful internet spot. It has become very clear that hard core yoga enthusiasts prefer a calm and serene environment.

Tomato seeds drying at Caseria Del Mercado

Stringing tomateos ready to hang at Caseria Del MercadoToday was tomatoes start to finish. We started around 8am after a relaxed breakfast of muesli and yogurt. First up was removing seeds from various varieties for next years crop. This is done by a term I like to call “fingering the tomato”. You stick you finger in the juicy tomato and in a come hither motion scoop out the seeds. There is one strain here that produces tomatoes half the size of your head that is only at this farm and has been grown here for 150 years. I cant comment on taste because I only assume its disgusting but have been told by others that it is fantastic. After this they are strained, laid onto turn up clothing and set out to dry. They will then be stored for next year. The other woofers and I then began the task of stringing up vine tomatoes for the winter. When hung and stored properly they will slowly ripen all winter and can be eaten for up to a year! When that task was over its was 10am and time for second breakfast. This was an unreal sandwich with all sorts of meats, cheeses, fresh peppers, garlic aioli, and fresh baked bread. All organic of course. Second breakfast lasted around an hour then it was time to start picking some fresh ones. At this point were closing in on noon and it is hot. I mean super fu@king hot! The sun beats down but since I found a sweet straw farming hat its now not so bad. We picked for an hour or two and that was our day. Easy work at our own pace with lots breaks and no direct supervision, shouldn’t all work be like this?

Pool at Del Mercado

When the work day ends around here its all about chilling out hard. Cooling off in the crystal clear pool, laying in hammocks, and chilling and chatting with people from all over the world. There is an acrobatics class here that has brought in a variety of circus performers. Watching them juggle, throw each other in the air, and other little tricks is pretty fun to watch. This is a 700 acre farm with a massive complex so theres always somewhere to be and people to see. Someone has just come into the shala and I’v told that the boss is looking for me so I must go. Later today I may walk into the next little town and check it out, or maybe ill swim and lay in the hammock. I hope to be updating more frequently now that I have found comfortable internet so stay tuned!

Stringing tomatoes at Caseria Del Mercado

Joaquin hanging tomatoes Caseria Del Mercado

Fingering the tomato Caseria Del Mercado Tomato seeds being strained at Caseria Del Mercado

Spreading tomato seeds to dry at Caseria Del Mercado

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