Huechahue remains almost entirely self-sufficient – as it has always had to be. Each generation has introduced new sustainable technologies, not only because of their love of the land but also because they had no choice. Our water (both for irrigation and in the house) is gravity fed from natural springs and we generate our own electricity with a water driven turbine. The supply is limited so we are very conscious of the amount of power and water we are using.
Over the years large numbers of trees have been planted. This on-going programme now provides us with enough firewood for all our heating and hot water and also makes us carbon neutral regarding our use of fossil fuels.
The estancia breeds Hereford cattle and it is all extensive farming with natural grazing. We use no fertilizers or pesticides. Most of our food is produced on the estancia and all of our meat is home reared. We have a dairy cow for milk, chickens for eggs and a large organic vegetable garden which is fertilized with horse manure from the corrals. We have extensive fruit and nut orchards and all surplus fruit is either dried in the sun, bottled or made into jam. We also have pigs that eat all the organic waste and in the winter we make sausages, hams, and bacon from these fattened pigs.
We are very aware of the fragile environment in which we live and the prevention of erosion is paramount. We take care to only walk and ride along routes we have chosen for their soil stability and we are currently in the process of reinforcing tracks which had begun to show evidence of deterioration. Our bird watching is done in a non-intrusive manner and fishing is entirely on a catch and release basis.