On day 8 of our study abroad trip, our group visited the Artemisa Province which is located about an hour and a half southwest of Havana. The farm that we visited is run by a couple who immigrated to Cuba to live their dream of being farmers. They wanted to focus on sustainable agriculture and knew that Cuba was a great place to implement their dream of growing healthy and nutritious foods in local communities. The farm had a multitude of crops such as mangos, plantains, beans, and mamey. They also grew some medicinal herbs and had their own beehives. After we learned about the farm, we had the opportunity to help out. We were divided into groups of people who wanted to dig holes, plant mango trees, and sort beans. Because I wanted to experience what it was like to be a farmer, I ended up going with the group that was going to plant mango trees. We were led to where the mango trees needed to be planted by one of the workers of the farm and he showed us the mango trees that we were planting were all grafted because it is the most time-efficient, rather than planting mango seeds. He also showed us a mamey tree and stopped to cut up some fallen mamey for us to try. It tasted AMAZING (imagine biting into a spherical mango). Once we were done planting the trees, we went back to the area where we would be eating lunch. The worker then showed us where the beehives were kept. They were located above a small pool which prevents ants from climbing up to the beehives. We had the opportunity to taste the honey and the pollen, which were both DELICIOUS. Up until that point, I thought I had experienced the farm to its full capacity, but I was wrong. Lunch was served by the couple that ran the farm and it was nothing shy of phenomenal. The side salads were fresh and packed full of zest and flavor while the rice and beans were rich with savory seasoning. The chicken was moist and tender and the ripe plantains were as sweet as the honey we tried from the beehive. That meal was hands down by far my favorite of the entire trip. Overall this experience falls under the must-do-again category and also the unforgettable category as well.

Planting Mango Trees
Palm trees on the farm in the Artemisa Province
My favorite meal while I was in Cuba
Honey comb from the beehive
Beehives on top of the pool to keep out ants