Welcome to Ma’s or Abu’s Garden in Quito, a haven to escape whatever the world throws at us. It’s also my first vlog-style video, an ideal opportunity to unveil the beauty of this green sanctuary through the lens of my new camera.
Join me for a relaxed tour as we uncover the botanical wonders and personal stories that make this garden one of our favorite places in Ecuador.
First Glance at the Garden
Maracutaxo – Passion Fruit and Taxo Hybrid
Our garden tour begins with a delightful hybrid, the maracutaxo. A splendid fusion of passion fruit and taxo (also known as banana passion fruit), this vine offers a flavor profile that is a tad more acidic than the traditional passion fruit, making it a perfect choice for refreshing juices or relishing its goodness straight from the vine. You can see it’s a little more yellow than regular passionfruit owing to the taxo.
We originally gifted Abu our kale plant when we left Quito for Cuenca around 5 years ago. It grew well, but she thought it was broccoli or similar at first. Kale, not a conventional choice in this locale, has thrived splendidly under Abu’s care. Right now the grubs have been having a good old chew but you can still see how well it grows, especially with these other smaller plants that are starting to thrive.
Life Updates and Ozzy’s Farewell
First Vlog-Style Video
As we transition into the vlog-style narrative, let me express that these videos differ significantly from our polished studio-style content. They provide you with a glimpse into my life in Ecuador, offering a more personal and relaxed perspective. Your feedback on this new format is invaluable, so please share your thoughts in the comments.
Introducing Ozzy – The Australian Shepherd
Meet Ozzy, our beloved Australian Shepherd, who recently celebrated his third birthday. In a bittersweet decision, we’ve chosen to let Ozzy thrive in the expansive greenery of Abu’s garden in Quito rather than bringing him to Cuenca. Why? Look around! This vast garden is a paradise for him to run and play. Additionally, it brings joy to Abuela, who missed having a canine companion after her German Shepherd. The decision, although tough, ensures Ozzy’s happiness and quality of life.
Building the Wall for Ozzy’s Safety
To make Ozzy’s stay safe and secure, we’ve constructed concrete walls that act as a protective barrier. This precautionary measure stems from a previous incident where we lost a sweet Beagle in the same yard two years ago. We chipped in to hire a Maestro, a skilled artisan working with Michelle’s family for an extended period. The Maestro is largely responsible for building three sections of the brick fence and reinforcing the front gate. This work ensures Ozzy’s safety and brings peace of mind to us all.
Back to Abu’s Garden
Avocado Trees and Other Delights
Back to Abu’s garden, we have an exciting development – the first avocado tree to bear fruit in many years is right here! Five different types of avocado trees were planted, and finally, we see the fruits of this labor. We’re yet to taste them, with the whole family waiting eagerly in anticipation.
Coffee Bean Challenges
While exploring the front part of the garden, we come across a coffee tree. However, the dryness throughout the growing season had a negative affect on the beans this year. Ecuador is currently grappling with rolling blackouts due to insufficient hydroelectric power caused by El Niño and a lack of rain. The hope is for more favorable weather conditions next year, allowing us to enjoy a better coffee crop and the pleasure of roasting these flavorful beans.
As we conclude this adventure through Abu’s Garden, I extend heartfelt gratitude for your support in YapaTree Properties’ growth throughout 2023. Your encouragement has been instrumental, and we look forward to further expansion in 2024.
The festive season is upon us, and I wish you joy, warmth, and good vibes surrounded by loved ones. Your topic suggestions are always welcome; drop me an email at [email protected], and we’ll strive to cover them in future content.
Here’s to a fantastic festive season and the exciting journey that awaits in the coming year.
Ciao for now!
- Contact Jason: [email protected] or +593999475705
- Rent or Buy Cuenca Properties: https://yapatree.com/cuenca-ecuador-real-estate/
View full video transcript
Abu’s Garden, Quito – Vlog 1 (Transcript)
Hola. Welcome to Ma’s or Abu’s Garden in Quito. It’s just such a lovely place. So much nature, so much color, it’s the ideal spot to do my first vlog-style video. It also happens to be the perfect excuse to give my new camera a spin. Come for a tour.
Let’s start with what is one of my favorite plants here. It’s also quite unique as it is a hybrid. It’s a mixture of passion fruit and taxo. Taxo is also sometimes called a banana passion fruit. We call this vine a maracutaxo and I really enjoy the flavor. I’d say it’s a little bit more acidic than a normal passion fruit that you’ll find here and is ideal for juices or just eating it straight from the vine.
This is what one looks like. I found this guy on the ground. So you can see it kind of looks like a normal passion fruit, but it’s a little bit more yellow I guess on the outsides as well because of the marac…, because of the taxo. Very good. Just sweet enough without being too sweet we love this guy in juices. Perfect.
And here’s a kale plant we gave Abu about five years ago, just before we left Quito for Cuenca. You can tell that everybody loves it, including the grubs here, because something’s been having a good old chew. Abu originally thought it was broccoli or similar, as kale isn’t something traditionally grown a lot here. You can buy kale in supermaxi etcetera and you might even see it by the name of Crispy Lechuga. As you can see, it grows really well here. Here’s another 5 little plants. We often grow it in a hydroponic setup and the whole family enjoys kale chips, which is just kale with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt in the oven for about 10 minutes.
I hope you’re not disappointed finding this vlog-style video if you’re more used to some of our more polished studio-style videos. Most of our videos today have focused on educating you on certain topics about living or moving to Cuenca. The core concept is that you’re just a little bit better prepared for what can be a very daunting task for many. And you’ll also find some of our property listing videos on our channel, as this is our core business.
Those videos have very clear outcomes. You’re either learning something about the discrete topic or you’re checking out homes that you potentially want to rent or buy. These vlog-style videos are very different from those. They really just give you a bit of a glimpse into my life in Ecuador. It’s more personal and relaxed. As it is a new format for me I’d really love to hear your feedback on this vlog-style video in the comments and of course, if you do get some value from this video, do please like and subscribe that would be super helpful.
Have you met Ozzy? He’s our Australian Shepherd who just turned 3 last week. It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment for our family though, as we have decided to leave him here at Abu’s house in Quito and he will not be returning with us to Cuenca. Why? Just look at this garden. It is absolutely huge and Ozzy loves to run and play. We do have a garden space for him in Cuenca, but it’s just much smaller than this. The other reason is that it’s good for Abuela to have a dog with her. She used to have a large German Shepherd and she misses him quite a bit. But also for being 100% honest with three kids, sometimes Ozzy’s needs just aren’t as high a priority as we would really like, so we just think he’s going to have a better quality of life here.
But before Ozzy can stay here, we needed to construct several bits of concrete that effectively act as a wall to stop Ozzy from getting out. Two years ago we actually lost a sweet Beagle here in the same yard. He was a street dog or ex-street dog that just loved to go exploring and he went exploring one day and sadly he just never returned. So obviously we do not want the same thing to happen with Ozzy, hence building the big brick wall behind us.
We chipped in to get the fence built one Maestro, who has been working with Michelle’s family for a long period of time, is largely responsible for the majority of the work. They’ve built three different sections of the brick fence and they’ve also helped reinforce the concrete for the front gate, because the front gate was effectively sliding off because of the brick wall pressure. And they’ve also helped us with some cement out the front, basically a little bit of an upgrade to what was there before. There was also a hell of a lot of cleaning that needed to get done because basically where these concrete walls are before as a fence they just had a whole bunch of, I wouldn’t say rubbish, but it was a whole bunch of trees and just stuff that effectively acted as some sort of barrier to stop animals and people from sort of coming and going. So we definitely needed this upgrade in order to have Aussie here successfully.
And back to Abu’s garden. The most exciting development is right here with these avocado trees. These are the first avocados that have fruited in this garden for many years. They planted 5 different types of avocado trees around five years ago and here are the first little fellas. I cannot wait to try them. And here is a lovely big Cedron tree. Cedron is very popular here, especially in teas it has a very nice lemony taste to it and we drink it all the time. It is delicious.
And moving towards the front of the garden we have this beautiful Mandarin tree. Check it out. Wow. We also have a bunch of other citrus, but this Mandarin tree right now is definitely the favorite because the kids are just going nuts. We’re all eating like two or three of these every single day, and to be perfectly honest, I could probably eat them all day long too.
And here’s a coffee tree so you can see it’s quite dry. You’ve probably heard about the rolling blackouts in Ecuador at the moment. Simply because the hydroelectric plants cannot produce enough electricity because of El Nino and the lack of rain. And you can see that these coffee beans, they’re really quite dry and they didn’t fare too well this season so hopefully next year we have a little bit more rain and we can have a better crop and hopefully roast some of these lovely coffee beans.
And this lovely big tree behind me is a cherimoya or custard apple. Unfortunately, as beautiful as it is, this tree has never actually borne any fruit, but it’s still lovely to have.
There’s so much more to explore in this garden, but that’s about it for today. If enough people get value from this video, perhaps we’ll dig deeper into some of the other plants. And from all of us here at YapaTree have a fantastic festive season surrounded by friends, family and good vibes. I’m really looking forward to bringing more content to you in 2024 and just generally growing a real estate business too.
2023 was a very big growth year for YapaTree Properties and that’s largely thanks to your support. Thank you very much. Also, if there’s a topic in general that you would like us to cover, please do feel free to email me [email protected] and we’ll do our best to cover it. All the best and have a fantastic festive season. Ciao for now.