Blogs

Local and Sustainable—Eco Living Aruba is Saving Aruba’s Bees One Hive at a Time

Balashi Brewery continues to highlight local businesses that are doing their part to make a difference for our community and environment.

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Beer Garden Aruba Opens in Historic Rancho Neighborhood

The hidden gem of Rancho, a historic neighborhood in downtown Oranjestad that was once a fishing village in the 1800’s, has a new resident

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Magical Island Moments

Aruba’s horse riding culture is an integral thread in the island’s historical fabric and traditions. Horses were first introduced here by the Spanish in the early 1500s, and Aruba was even once a trading post for horses. A descendant of the horses originally introduced to Aruba all those years ago is the Paso Fino. Paso Fino, meaning “fine step,” refers to the smooth gait of this breed that is popular in Aruba and throughout the Caribbean and parts of Latin America.

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When Art Finds a Way

Amidst one of the most unprecedented worldwide events—the COVID 19 pandemic, two aspects of our community seemed to thrive: creativity and entrepreneurship.

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Rachell Peterson and the Art of Cultivating Gourmet Mushrooms

Farm a Cure Fungi is founded by Rachell Peterson, a well-known local tattoo artist turned urban farmer.  “I started growing mushrooms at home as a hobby about 14 years ago…one day I was working on a tattoo for Chef Urvin Croes and noticed the mushroom on his tattoo sleeve and we started talking about my hobby of growing them.  He was very interested in sampling them, and once he did, he started buying from me regularly and even put them on his menu,” explains Rachell. The needs of her first client quickly outgrew her supply, prompting her to research a move from a small-scale, home-based operation to a commercial setting.  “In Aruba we don’t see a variety of mushrooms offered, mostly the common white button variety…but there is so much more out there,” she informs. Rachell expanded her knowledge as a hobbyist with online courses and forging relationships with other growers and mentors, while also collecting more exotic species like shitake, oyster, lion’s mane, and enoki.  She then presented her business plan to investors and opened Farm a Cure Fungi in May of 2022. Growing mushrooms takes a lot of patience and knowledge of the exact science needed to successfully cultivate various mushroom varieties.  The process starts in her lab where she  cultivates and clones some 25 species.  Once enough mycelium has grown in agar on a petri dish, it is transferred and further developed in a liquid solution and fed a diet of nutrient-rich rye berries. After a few weeks, it is then transferred to hardwood to colonize for a couple of months, followed by the final growth stage in temperature-controlled fruiting tents.  Farm a Cure Fungi is a 24/7 business and requires immense dedication, with Rachell forgoing much of her personal time and vacations.  “I have to be here every day of the week because mushrooms don’t take a break,” she laughs.  But her hard work is paying off: her mushrooms are now popping up on menus all over the island—from hotels like Marriott, Renaissance, and Hilton, to restaurants like Infini, Opus, Taste My Aruba, Barefoot, Fred Royal, and Daniel’s Steak & Chop.  Cheers to sustainable and innovative entrepreneurs like Rachell!

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It’s Camping Season on Aruba

For locals on Aruba, camping is just as synonymous to the Easter season as egg hunts and bunny rabbits. 

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