Visit to Organic Avocado Farm and Packing House in Michoacán, Mexico

Part 3: Maria's Organic Avocado Farm

by Keith Agoada

In many ways I regard Maria as the mother of organic avocado farming in Mexico, and deservedly so. She is the mother of 11 kids who all grow avocados, and now she has grandkids that are growing organic avocados.

She raised her family on a self sufficient family farm in rural Michoacán, Mexico. Everything was grown for family consumption, and any leftovers were bartered in town. Now her family has over 800 hectares of avocado production, and one of her sons owns a packing house.

Maria
Maria

Maria is located about 30 minutes outside of Uruapan and is managing her 7 hectare organic avocado farm. Leonel and I drove into her property just as Maria was finishing the foliar spraying of her biofertilizer fermented preparations. These preparations consists of plant materials from her farm, fermented overtime with molasses (to activate the microorganisms.) For a woman of 75 years I was impressed to see her work the machine.

As always Maria greeted us with a huge smile, and a big hug as she was happy to see her son Leonel. Right away we walked the avocado farm with Maria as she wanted Leonel's opinion on a young tree that was getting eaten by insects. Leonel gave her advice, which was to let the insects eat the tree, and to focus her energy on saving the trees around it. I'm not sure if Maria agreed with his strategy, but it was a cool moment to be a part of.

We then walked back to Maria's farm house where she gave us a tour of her organic vegetable garden. Leonel harvested some tomato and chayote. We took it back to her outdoor kitchen. Leonel cut the chayote, added fresh lime juice and sea salt. We then cut tomatoes and avocados, and made mini chayote sandwiches. Looking out at the view of the mountains in the distance, I felt blessed to be in Mexico.

On this trip I decided to purchase 10 bars of Maria's homemade organic avocado soap. She told me that many years ago she had a dream that one day she would be old and have nothing to do and would be bored. After waking from the dream she decided to take destiny into her own hands, and began pursuing her soap business. For three years she has created formulas, featuring her avocados, mamey and the herbs from her garden. Maria's skin is always glowing. She gives credit to her soap. Once she felt the formula was perfected she began gifting the soap to some family and friends. Now there is a following of people in Uruapan who only use Maria's soap to wash their face.

Part 1: Leonel and the Packing House
by Keith Agoada

In August I had the privilege of spending three days in Michoacán, Mexico visiting with Leonel Chavez, Owner and CEO of Michoacan Organics an export wholesaler dedicated to organic avocado supply chain and sales to the United States.

Leonel is a pioneer in organic avocados in Mexico with more than 20 years experience grow

 
Part 2: Breakfast at Rinconcito
by Keith Agoada

After completing our visit to the packing facility Leonel expressed his desire to have a proper breakfast before visiting his mom's farm. Apparently the tacos and orange juice didn't fulfill Leonel's appetite. I usually start my day with juice, some fruit, or perhaps a smoothie. So the big Mexican breakfast is a bit outs

 
Part 4: Leonel's Farm
by Keith Agoada

As a final stop on my visit to Michoacán, Leonel brought me to his farm. This was the first farm that Leonel converted from conventional practices and certified organic.

He explains to me that he was born an organic farmer. Growing up in rural Mexico with his Mom, Dad, and 10 brothers and sisters, there were no chemicals.