The Via Organica store in San Miguel de Allende is known for providing locally sourced and organic produce to its consumers, offering volunteer opportunities and inspiring others to be conscious of the health and well being of our planet. The annual Corn Festival or Festival del Maiz was hosted at Via Organica’s ranch outside of San Miguel’s city limits. The topic of the event was the Milpa.
Milpa is a indigenous crop system from the natives of Mexico and is even common amongst the Cherokee as it is referred to as Three Sisters in our culture. The Three Sisters or the Milpa are three vegetables and legumes that support each others growth and health. The beans provide a fertile and wide surface for the squash which climbs up and wraps on the stable and tall corn stalk. My Great Grandfather, a ranch owner in East Texas used this technique himself and made the traditional Cherokee Three Sisters Soup for his family and friends!
A soup was made using the Milpa and mushrooms in a hearty broth served with red corn masa tamales. the dishes were all “pre-contact” and vegan, which I found to be very meaningful and thoughtful. An Indigenous community guided the curious attendees around the ranch discussing the different varieties of corn and the traditions of their people.
After our tour around the field, grilled corn of various types were served on a “plate”made with the pulled corn husks. It was simply divine and delicious, no cream or butter necessary! For our dessert, a blue corn and Oaxacan citrus blossom drink with ground almonds called Teqate was served. The drink is referred to as “the drink of the gods” as legend states that an Aztec god was given to the women of a Zapotec village. The tradition that only women could prepare the drink is still alive to this day!
I would like to thank the kind community at the ranch fro this inspiring outing and do yourself a favor and check out Via Organica’s Calendar of Events !
Wherever you may be right now, please support local and organic farming, and if you happen to be in San Miguel de Allende, shop or eat at Via Organica’s market and cafe!