Tag Archive | "Ashe County"

Ecuador Organic Wine & Cheese


Ecuador organic wine & cheese started me thinking about a way some readers can have an interesting and fun business.

ecuador-wine-cheese

Ecuador organic wine.

Ecuador-wine-cheese

Ecuador organic cheese.

We are enjoying a quantum shift and the way we work, live, invest and do business will never be as before.  The cover of the May 25, 2009 TIME describes it well when it says:

Throw away the briefcase: you’re not going to the office. You can kiss your benefits goodbye too. And your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder, and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path.

ecuador-wine-cheese

Ecuador organic wine and cheese being served at a wine and cheese reception hosted by Jyske Bank at our recent Ecuador Investment and Business Course.

Governments globally are trying to slow this needed economic transition and their stimulation efforts will most likely cause the loss of purchasing power in most currencies… global inflation.

The best ways to gain opportunity in this scenario is to own real estate, commodities, stocks and your own business.

Even real estate, commodities and shares are at risk.  In the end the greatest asset is your ability to serve… to produce a product or service that adapts to the new ways.

This is why I am always looking for business ideas to share which brings me to organic… wine and cheese.

One great coincidence is that though Merri and I live in two very remote mountain places, (Lansing North Carolina and Cotacachi, Ecuador) both are near a manufacturer of organic wine and cheese.

Our Ibarra real estate tour delegates have looked at a hacienda for sale that contains an organic Swiss cheese factory. The factory includes its own real cave full of Swiss cheese.

Here is the entrance to the hacienda.


Here I am at the entrance to the cave.


Here I enjoy a look round the cave! The factory produces 20 of these cheeses a day. Each sells for $30.

In Lansing we are near the New River Winery lodged in the Lansing Old Schoolhouse.

ecuador-wine and cheese

Here is the Ecuador wine and cheese business thought. Have a wine and cheese business in Ecuador and Ashe County.

Many readers are like Merri and me.  They want to live in quiet places.  They want to work at something they love.  They like coffee, wine and cheese.  Why not offer tours to these interesting remote (AND inexpensive) places?

A set of peculiar circumstances creates this dual wine and cheese opportunity now.

I explain why tomorrow and next day in Ecuador Wine and Cheese part II and Ecuador wine and cheese part III.

Until then good business to you!

Gary

Join us for our upcoming courses in North Carolina and Ecuador that show ways to earn income in this new economic era.

Learn how to earn with exports at our July 4-8  and Oct. 21-24  on our Ecuador Export Tour

Learn how to invest and do business globally at our International Business and investing courses.  Join me with Thomas Fischer and Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management and my webmaster David Cross.

In North Carolina July 24-26 and Oct. 9-11  IBEZ North Carolina

In Ecuador Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

See  good value real estate in Ecuador.

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Pet Projects


Our pet projects are our pets.

Merri and I love animals. They have been part of our lives since we were kids. Merri never rode a bike growing up. She was on a horse every day instead.

I had it even better as far as animals go. As a zoo keeper’s son, I enjoyed animals all the time…even raising lions and tigers at home. Here is an old newspaper clipping from the Oregonian about my sister and me with the second baby lion, Duchess, we raised. I was only seven or eight then and over the years we raised more than a dozen of them.

healthy-pet-lions

This is one reason we have a farm…for our dog Ma and five horses.

healthy-pet-horses & dogs

And our geese and chickens.

Healthy-pet-geese

healthy-pet-rooster

We added a dozen mallards last month. they came in the mail.

healthy-pet-ducks

and cats. This is Boots.

Healthy-pet-cat

This is his friend, Alice.

healthy-pet-female-cat

So we know the importance of nutrition in pets. I began learning this when feeding baby lions and tigers. The right food at the right time is essential!

We have struggled getting a good diet for our hound dog, Ma (really a fairy princess in disguise).

She was an abandoned pup who stumbled in her dying gasps to our footsteps, back hip crushed, atrophied leg…ribs exposed. She began with a bad start..before she stumbled onto the pot of gold…us.

Yet the back leg never quite healed correctly and we see, if we let down on her nutrition at all, she drops downhill fast. Now at eleven years of age she is still going strong but we are doubly cautious about making sure she gets the best of care.

This has made it hard here in Ashe County…a great place but there are not many veterinarians around who specialize in natural nutrition. Our daughter in Portland is a vet but that is 2,500 miles away and when we have questions she can’t look at Ma.

So we were delighted to discover that one of our readers Dr. Dan is a Vet in  Unicoi County, Tennessee not more than an hour and a half from our farm.

Dan no longer practices veterinary medicine but formulates natural products…exactly what we have been looking for.

A few of the pet items he offers include:

Pet Bug Check…Promotes and maintains healthy skin and coat…from the Inside…OUT!

Pet Health Check…A super anti-oxidant herbal formula. This supplement reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals and has an anti-oxidant ORAC total Fl 219 per gram.

Pet Aller Check…To help maintain normal, healthy skin, gut, and immune system.

Pet Omega Check…Promotes and maintains healthy skin and coat – Great source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids!

SHOO-FLEA…Natural Flea Control for Pets.

Bug Check Spray… A Bug Kill and Repellent Spray w/ Pyrethrins and Aloe Vera.

We are starting with Dr. Dan’s Pet Joint Check that supports healthy joint function, bone and connective tissue.

Ma’s crushed hip has always left her relying a little extra on her other three joints. Years of running for miles on the farm adds that extra joint stress on the three healthy joints.

The active ingredients in this supplement include Glucosamine HCL,
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chrondroitin Sulfate plus there is Ascorbic Acid, Astragalus Herb Powder, Beta Carotene, Boswellia Extract, Citrus Bioflavinoids, Copper Proteinate, Deglycyrrhized Licorice Powder, DL-Methionine, Dried Liver Extract (Porcine Source), Garlic Powder, Ginko Biloba, Ground Dried Grape & Seed Pomace, Grape Seed Extract, L-Lysine, Maltodextrin, Manganese Proteinate, Montmorillonite, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, Pine Bark Extract, Poultry Meal, Siberian Ginseng, Vitamin E Supplement, Whey, Yeast Culture, Zinc Proteinate.

We have not tried these supplements yet but will start shortly and we’ll let you know how Ma responds.

Meanwhile you can learn more about DR Dan and his formulas.

Until next message, may your projects and animals be blessed pets.

Gary

Meet our pets. Join us for the autumn leaf change and our course International Business and Investing Made EZ. We’ll all spend some time at the farm.

Natural Health Tips in Blackberry Acid


Natural health tips here come from recent messages have been looking at health benefits in summer berries.

These natural health tips come from some great reader comments and further thought.

One reader wrote this health tip about reducing and preventing diarrhoea:

“Hello Gary, I really enjoyed the article about Blackberries. I love them so much. I have a lot of them on my place too. But, the best thing about them, they saved my little brother’s life. He had some sort of flu. Could not keep anything down or it went straight through him. The doctors could not help him. But, my Seminole Great Grandmother told my mother to give him blackberry juice. We started this, an almost instantly, he started getting better. And it wasn’t long before he was strong again. I have to laugh at my purple fingers during blackberry season, but there is nothing better. It is one of my nature connections. Even my dog picks berries with me. But the thorns give her a hard time. Because they get her on the nose. Thanks for the Blackberry article, and all that you do.”

This makes sense. Dr. John Douillard says in his “Three Season Diet” book:

“Native to Europe, blackberries are harvested in late spring and early summer, from April through July, but are out of season in the winter and are too cool for most winter climates. They are sweet, sour and astringent and help cool the body down and to treat diarrhoea, a classic summer condition in which the stool is liquefied by excess heat.”

Another reader wrote:

“Blackberries freeze well too so you can have them all year. Our labrador loves them as well. I’m currently reading James Howard Kunstler’s ‘Geography of Nowhere’. His ideas go well with yours about living within your means, seasonality, human sized / oriented projects. You can pick up used copies in the US very cheaply. He too sees the future by examining what has come before.”

Merri and I pick and freeze enough blackberries so we can have pies and juice year round.

Here is what a reader wrote a health tip about Blackberry acid.

“Hello again. My grandmother used to serve blackberry juice when I was a little child. She called it ‘blackberry acid’. It’s the only time I have ever seen it served in this country.”

Acid fruits such as berries (other than OJ) create alkalinity in the body. Keeping the body pH balanced may be one of the biggest health tips there is in this fast paced acid world.

Here is another reader comment:

“I once had the opportunity to read an unpublished civil war journal kept by the lady of a plantation in eastern NC, while all her men were away in the war. The entry one day was ‘Put up fifty gallons of blackberry wine’. That’s a lot of production from wild blackberries! The berries are indeed really good here this year, as is almost all the other fruit wild or domestic. Enjoy.”

One health tip is that Blackberry wine may be good for you.

The life extension website (lef.org) says in its article Very Berry – and Grape too!:

“My grandmother was a folk healer. She knew a lot about herbs. But her favorite medicinal potions were home-made wines, which she prepared herself. She favored black currant, elderberry and blackberry wine. Tart cherries and small, dark navy-blue grapes were also acceptable, but black currants and elderberry were credited with greater preventive and healing power. ‘For a strong heart and long life,’ my grandmother explained.

“Modern science has confirmed that dark-colored berries and red, purple and dark-blue grapes are a treasure house of health-giving and possibly even life-extending phenolic compounds, including proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and quercetin. And while the days of home-made wine may be over, we now have excellent extracts that provide standardized doses of the active polyphenols in berries and grapes. Bilberry extract and grape seed extract are the best known; cranberry extract and elderberry extract are also available for special therapeutic uses.”

This brings us to one reason you may want to visit us here in the Blue Ridge.

Nestled near us, the New River Winery is the first commercial winery in Ashe County. The winery is in Lansing, N.C., and is near the headwaters of the New River, the second oldest river in the world about 20 minutes from our farm. It was America’s first Heritage River. New River Winery has attempted to capture and reflect the essence and unique characteristics of the nature in this region in its wines and corporate philosophy.

New River Winery was founded in 2005 as a cooperative venture of wine lovers with a common tie to Ashe County and the Blue Ridge High Country. The mission of the winery is to produce and sell high quality wines and have a great time doing it.

The winery is housed in the Old School in Lansing not far from our farm. Here is this wonderful old building.

new-river-winery

Their wines include Bohemia Red and Bohemia White, Back Porch Blueberry, Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Hellbender Red, Lansing School White, Big Laurel Blush, Seyval and even a little blackberry wine.

new-river-wine

The President, is our friend, Haskell McGuire, who was born and raised here but served as the Vice President of Engineering and Operations for Bellsouth International.

Currently, the winery procures grapes from two local sources, one of which is a certified organic farm. At this time they also purchase the blueberries necessary to produce their signature Back Porch Blueberry wine from a local grower in Ashe County.

The winery has a tasting and retail outlet at Bohemia Gallery as well as a second retail outlet, Ashe Cheese, both located in downtown West Jefferson, North Carolina.

bohemia-gallery

Bohemia is one of our favorite coffee shops when we are in West Jefferson…well worth a stop

You can order New River wine online from http://isgameon.net

Here is one final health tip from a reader comment.

“Your article on blackberries/blueberries is good. However, you would have to consume a HUGE amt of berries to get the daily req. of ORAC of 10,000-15,000 and would be really expensive.”

I questioned this and asked our health care giver, Dr Joe Spano, who replied:

“Dear Gary, To begin with, the FDA recommended daily ORAC intake is 3000-5000. the remarks assume that the only anti-oxidants that you will take in would be blackberry/blueberry.

“The ORAC has become a marketing tool, but it has its foibles. It is not the
final word on anti-oxidant value. It is a useful guideline only. See ORAC definition
in Wikipedia.

“I think that there would be additional anti-oxidant power by adding a berry
with high ORAC value. It would not be superior to a fresh fruit but an extract of
the berry would still have value and it is a nice marketing gimmick. Why not dip your fresh fruit in liquid dark chocolate?

“There already exists chocolates with berry etc. added. Bottom line is that the product is probably good (wonder how it tastes?). Fresh is always better to my mind. You lose some anti-oxidant strength with processing. You do keep the color chemical component (anthrocyanidins)

“Fresh blueberries have high ORAC value-OXYGEN RADICAL ABSORBANCE CAPACITY.

“Regards, JOE”

Normally being black and blue means you have been hurt. Yet in summer days “turning black and blue” can be a berry good natural health tip.

Gary

Join us amidst the wild blackberries, blueberries, apples, pears, peaches and plums at the farm.

While much of the U.S. burns up this summer we enjoy cool nights (mid 50s) sleeping under blankets without screens (translation-there are no mosquitoes here). Rarely does it reach 80 during the day and if it does a quick dip in the creek cools us right down. We have farmhouses, cottages, cabins and cottages you can stay in and enjoy. Rockers on the front porch (best for watching fireflies at night and eating sunny breakfasts), quiet pools to chill watermelon, waterfalls in which to soak, horses to chase, chickens and ducks to feed and we would enjoy meeting you.

Everyone who comes wants to come back and right now we can treat you to some fresh blackberry pie!

We have a space left for you to join us this August 15-17, to stay at our farm and learn about intuitive investing at Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.

Or join us October 3-5 for the Blue Ridge leaf change. International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

Or enjoy one of our courses or tours in Ecuador
Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made
EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than
one course.

Ecuador Living Benefit


Ecuador living offers many benefits, one being that it stimulates the sluggish Ecuadorian economy. However, all of human existence is one of polarity.  Black must have white, positive needs negative and money always brings a rising price.

Ecuador-hotel-staff

Take Eduardo and Consuelo, who work at our Ecuador Hotel El Meson de las Flores. The hotel was in receivership and empty when our foundation Land of the Sun bought it to help stimulate the economy in this part of the Ecuador countryside.  By bringing people we have helped save their jobs.

A reader raised a good question about this though when he wrote:

“Gary, I’ve received your email newsletter for about six months now.  I have been interested in real estate in Ecuador for about a year.  I’ve been to Ecuador twice in the past year, and am going again July 1.  On the one hand I understand your enthusiasm for Ecuador, but on the other I wonder how pushing Ecuador real estate will impact the local population?  Obviously if you are a property holder, it’s a good thing; but if you’re not, but hope to be, outside money could push many locals out of the market.  Is this creating any kind of animosity toward outsiders?  I’d appreciate your insight on this.  I am an economist with a focus on international finance, so I enjoy all aspects of your writings.  Regards.”

This has been a never ending story since the beginning of time..everywhere, neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, county to county and country to country.

So far the majority of Ecuadorians love us….as much or more as our neighbors here in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains.

Most Ecuadorians cannot afford property because the locals were pushed out of the market by the Spanish about 500 years ago…just as American natives in the US were pushed out by the English, Germans, Irish, Scots, Italians, Chinese and others who arrived here.

Our arrival in Ecuador creates jobs, hope and a chance that many more Ecuadorians will be able to own their own land.

However the problem goes beyond just a few investors arriving from the US, Canada, Span, Italy and many from Colombia and Peru.   This is a time of transition for Ecuador with the final phase of the colonial hierarchal system near its end.  Whether the locals in Ecuador like it or not…just as people in many other countries do not like it, we all live in a global economy.   Many Americans did not like selling so much property to the Japanese in the 1980s.  They will gripe now as Europeans buy big chunks of Florida.  The Floridians will gripe. Yet they will sell, take the money and move to North Carolina…where the North Carolinians will gripe about the inflow of Floridians.

Prices will equalize anywhere there is a distortion, locally…nationally or globally.

Water gushes down. Air rushes into vacuums.  Money flows towards good value.

We see this in the United States with gas prices rising to $4 a gallon.  This is not as bad as in Europe where gas runs $7 or $8 a gallon….but it is still a shock to those of us who can remember…(yes it’s true) gas at 19.9 cents a gallon.

Gas is a global commodity. Americans have to pay the going rate.

Ecuador property is a global commodity…in an ever growing global economy.

I am a full blooded American…born and raised in the USA…as you can get.

Today, I am wearing all American clothes beginning with my American Converse tennis shoes (made in China), my American Wrangler jeans (made in Mexico), my American Fruit of the Loom underwear (made in El Salvador) and my American Van Heusen shirt (made in Bangladesh).  So even if I stayed in America, unless I plan on running around shoeless and naked, I will encroach on people in other countries…pushing up property prices for factories…that create jobs…help feed families…and create pollution. Positive…negative…positive…this never ends.

My first book “Passport to International Profit” was published in the early 1970s and included a chapter on “border blindness.”  This chapter looked at how political borders are illusions that support hidden agendas for the few who encourage them.  Borders  are transcended by almost all human emotions. Get a pretty Italian and handsome Irishman together and they will fall in love. Put a Mexican with a cheaper tomato next to a hungry Canadian and the Canadian will get out his loonies and buy the tomato. Put an Englishman and Frenchman in a sinking ship and they will both bail water.

The market place of humanity tramples borders. The deepest nature of our existence supports free trade and free movement of all to anywhere in the world.

Since that book was written…modern communications and transportation have made all of this even more true.   For example at Cotacachi communications see how broadband has changed the way we can live in Cotacachi.

We are, at the deepest level of our being, all citizens of the world.  It is logical and correct that we trade with those who serve us best…whether they bring products to us (like the tomatoes, shirts, shoes, pants and even underwear) or we go to the product (real estate abroad).

I have found that if one treats people with fairness and respect, these courtesies will be returned.  This was as true when we moved from Florida to Ashe County, North Carolina…where Floridians are called “Floridiots” by many locals…because they pay too much for the land and drive prices beyond the local abilities.

I know we are loved by our friends and staff in Ecuador.   Cotacachi Ecuador Hospitality shows how they treated Merri on Mother’s Day.

We are loved up here in North Carolina as well…not because we are Americans or Floridians or because we are red, white or black, Christians, Muslims or Jews, but because of how we act with our friends, neighbors and business associates.

When you treat people right…you become known as a friend not a nationality.

We are loved because we try to treat people with care, respect and fairness.  We bring in money and bring them work.

Few economies, local or national can isolate themselves from the global economy and enjoy a high material standard of living.

Ask the people of Mynmar if you do not believe this.

What a grand experiment (though I do not see it happening) would be for
mankind to eliminate all borders, customs, immigrations and nationalities for a decade.  My bet is we would never go back.

In Ecuador I do not see a resentment problem…but let’s allow the people of Ecuador have ther say. A leaflet has been posted on buildings and telephone poles all around San Clemente, the small village where Merri and I have bought our beach condos.  This was not put up by us..nor by the developer of the condo where we are buying.  This was written by locals in San Clemente.

I asked John Papski, our man on Ecuador’s beach, to translate it.   Here is what the Ecuadorians are saying about our arrival in their small fishing village with a five star spa hotel and a 61 unit luxury condo development  that will change the village’s life forever.

TRANSLATION

“Ecuador has a population of 13 million (2008 )and 3 million that live abroad (23% ).  Parents have immigrated leaving their children; people left for lack of work, pessimistic views of the future without opportunities, corruption, globalization and neo-liberalist practices have contributed to a disappearance of opportunity for individual, family and social development.

“San Clemente has an approximate population of 4500. There is a need for 600 new jobs per year for the youth but nature and the sea does not allow sufficient funds for welfare, health and studies.

“However, tourism is one of the few chances left for Ecuador and its youth.

“The marvelous beaches of San Clemente attract people that travel many hours, save and borrow money so they and their families can spend on food, lodging, water, beer, sun lotions, repellents, handcrafts and return home broke but content knowing that health, welfare, lust for life, relaxed has prepared them to continue the hard fight in the city.They have integrated with nature with the immense help of the sea and its marvelous sounds and movements, with the wonder of the beach and hills that surround, wonder of tranquil people, amiable and service orientated to all visitors with humanity, smiles,assistance and hospitality.

“Our visitors dream during their happy stay of a swift return to our beach or perhaps remain here forever. The beach tourists do not come to Rocafuerte or Charapoto (nearby towns ). They come to San Clemente.

“Bahia apartment owners come to us because they know our beach is a great treasure with fantastic potential of nature, not enclosed in sad cement but green, blue, orange living nature. Look after nature as we care for ourselves and defend the future of our youth.”

There you have it, a local view of what they think of us.

So far I believe we are more than welcome.  I hope that Merri and I and all we bring along have the wisdom to be with the wonderful people of Ecuador in a way so they are not just happy that we come…but that they also want us to stay.

I invite you to join us in the wonderful adventure and as human beings who are citizens of the world!

Gary

See dates for our other Ecuador courses and tours:

Coastal Real Estate Tour

Pool, tennis court and beach at Palmazul where we stay on our coastal tours.

Ecuador-beach-hotel

Beach at Palmazul.

Ecuador-beach-property

Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Courtyard at Ecuador hotel El Meson de las Flores where we conduct our Spanish Courses, Imbabura Real Estate Tours, Shamanic Mingos and Import Export  tours.

Ecuador-hotel-courtyard

Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Shaman Mingo Tour

Ecuador Import Export Course

See discounts for attending more than one course.