Vía Orgánica: Teaching local farmers in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende how to farm without chemicals and encourage biodiversity

Vía Orgánica – a regenerative farm in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – is on a mission to promote good nutrition through organic agriculture, fair trade, a healthy way of life and protecting the planet.

The non-profit organisation, which was established in 2009, not only grows and sells fresh, organic produce to the local community, but it also runs an educational centre, restaurant, weekly street market, and store. By centralising these operations, Vía Orgánica has had a substantial impact in the region over the last decade, improving the livelihoods of local farmers and vendors.

Rosana Álvarez, a native of San Miguel and president of Vía Orgánica, together with Rose Welch and Ronnie Cummins of the Association of Organic Consumers founded the farm in order to connect small local farmers with consumers looking for organic food produced locally and in a healthy way in San Miguel de Allende.

Rosana Álvarez has seen many changes over the years in the farmers practices and in their lives. Some have stopped using agrochemicals, while others have made the decision to resist the offers of the conventional government “package,” which involves the use of agrochemicals. Some have learned to make compost and protect the earth with mulch. Many of them have taken classes and workshops at Vía Orgánica, which are free for farmers.

The Vía Orgánica Ranch is a working model of how to transform once degenerated farmland and pastureland. The working ranch in the semi-arid highlands of Mexico now produces delicious organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, seeds, and animal products for the Via Organica restaurant, farmers market, and food store in the local town of San Miguel de Allende.

The farm is also home to a large seed-saving library dedicated to recreating the traditions of heritage seeds in Mexico. The seed bank has more than 65 species of seeds, all of which are known to flourish in Mexico’s central highlands.

Rosana Álvarez said: “The main purpose of the project is to preserve the seeds of our ancestors, the seeds of life and the security of our food.”

Image Credit: Vía Orgánica Facebook page

Vía Orgánica

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

 

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