The word “chacra” means orchard. Throughout the Patagonia one can find various types of chacras. I remember seeing many chacras on my mission in Neuquen Argentina. When I stayed in Neuquen, Plottier and General Roca I saw various chacras. There were apple chacras, plum chacras and grape chacras. At a modest-sized chacra you could see a few acres full of rows of chacras.
I have fond memories of going to visit the Martinez family in General Roca and eating at their house for lunch and having delicious, fresh apples to eat. The chacra was a very relaxing place to be- a great place to get some fresh air.
Generally chacras are located toward the outskirts of the city. Usually the family who owns the chacra will live in a little home on the chacra. I learned a couple of random facts about chacras when I visited chacras:
- Sometimes the branches of fruit trees on chacras are cut sideways so they are wide one way and thin the other way. Apparently this makes it much easier for chacra workers to take the fruit off the tree.
- The fruit is generally more healthy and sweet, the deeper color it is. For example, an apple with a lot of color is likely to be more nutritious and healthy than an apple that has little color. If there is a good season with plenty of rain and sunshine, the fruit generally grows better.
Seeing families live a simple life on a chacra made me think I need to pause more in my life and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.