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Sunday, October 10, 2010

An Organic Market in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende's Organic Tianguis
by Victoria Challancin

Note:  Since I first wrote the draft for this blog, I received news that the location of the Organic Market in San Miguel will change.  I will post the new location as soon as I have it.  For now, a few photos from previous market days.

Throughout the ages in Mesoamérica, the concept of the street market, or tianguis has thrived.  To this day, you can find lively open-air markets all over the Republic.  In bustling cities and in rural areas, the local gathering of vendors spreading their wares in appealing ways, calls to rich and poor alike.  And now, happily, my adopted city of San Miguel de Allende has begun a weekly organic market where local purveyors can sell directly to consumers and teach them about the way their food is grown.

Many growers have long been organic, others are now complying with the guidelines set out by IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, and others are gradually transitioning to the organic requirements laid down by law.  If participation is a measuring stick, the local populace, foreigners and Mexicans alike, are happily embracing their efforts.

This new market showcases fresh organic produce, bakery items, freshly cooked food, organic garden seeds, Mexican coffee,  gourmet cheese, and a wide range of whimsical folk art.  The farmers involved in the tianguis are united under the banner of TOSMA (Tianguis Organico de San Miguel de Allende), to preserve traditional methods of farming and bio-diversity as well.  Scroll down for a few photos of what is available to the locavores of San Miguel.

Muffins, quiches, cookies, and gluten-free items from Panaderia Casanova

More breads and cakes

Fresh produce, like these criollos, or thin-skinned avocados, lovingly displayed on handmade embroidered cloths for wrapping and storing tortillas

The talented and industrious Alicia Rivero, of Panaderia Casanova and Life Path Retreats, handing out samples

Whimsical pillow covers and other handmade embroidery items

A peacock?  Yes, definitely a peacock pillow cover

The bright red dye used in this handmade carpet is made from the dried bodies of the female cochineal insects that live in the nopal cactus

Handmade soaps made with local honey and nopal cactus

Organic garden seeds--with promises of more to come!

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