Mexico is very well known for its markets or mercados. You can buy almost anything at these mercados from food to household goods to pets. Mérida has several wonderful markets. In fact, you may have even heard about Lucas de Galvez, the largest market in Mérida. Or one of the smaller and popular markets like Santiago, Santa Ana or Chem Bech. But, do these markets sell organic produce? Therefore, we will go into detail in this article to answer the question Where can I buy organic produce in Mérida?
In Mérida, “mercados” are places where you can find a plethora of all kinds of items. A word of caution, as you probably are aware, organic can be defined many ways. However to buy organic produce in Mérida, you need to know the process for certifiable organic in Mexico. For the answer to this question and more, I spoke to our favorite AND highly recommended organic produce vendor, Ana Bolaños owner of Herencia Verde.
**ALL photos in this article are from Ana Bolaños of Herencia Verde and are actual products.
Buying organic produce in Merida
What is the true definition of organic for Yucatan?
Ana: A product that is free of any agrochemical. However in our case, we start with an analysis and documentation necessary to verify that our products are free of any agrochemical. In this way, we are able to obtain certification as an organic product.
We’ve heard things about the water in Merida – what is kind of water is best?
Ana: At the ranch we have a deep well at 37 meters. We use this water for irrigation and activities in general. Likewise, the harvest is disinfected with a hydrogen peroxide based product. In this way, it allows us to have the Standard for Organic Certification. But it does not hurt to also wash and disinfect produce before consuming it.
What is the best way to keep lettuces, sprouts and microgreens fresh and perky?
Ana: The main thing is not to wet them before storing them. However if they are wet, dry them very very well. In an airtight container, place a paper towel first. Then, place some of the leaves. Alternative with the leaves and more paper towels. Finally, cover and place in the refrigerator. Check often to ensure the paper towels are still dry. If you notice that the paper towel is wet, change for a dry paper towel and voila! They will be fresh like freshly harvested products. This way, they last up to 15 days in the refrigerator. The only exception is fresh flowers that are more delicate. These may only last a few days up to a week.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
NOt only my family but other people can have access to agrochemical books who recognize their value. In addition to suppporting local commerce, we consume what is made in Yucatan.
Can someone visit your ranch? If yes, what is the protocol?
Ana: Due to the Standard for Organic Certification and others that we are developing, there are some restrictions. For example, we can schedule very small groups with a maximum 5 people. All group tours need to confirm at least one week in advance. Most importantly, you cannot have visited any other ranch or orchard on the same day as arriving at our facilities. Upon arrival footwear and clothing will be disinfected with a spray. In keeping with COVID requirments, you will need to use your mask at all times. Pets are not allowed.
How long have you been involved with the Slow Food Market?
Ana: We began there in August of 2020.
Can someone order from you and pick up their order at Slow Food Market?
Ana: Yes, of course. We take orders on Thursdays, harvest on Fridays then deliver everything fresh on Saturday at Slow Food Market – Garcia Gineres location.
Do you offer home delivery services? If yes, what are the prices and/or days for delivery?
Ana: Yes, of course. We take these orders on Mondays, harvest on Tuesdays, then deliver Wednesdays. The products can be picked up at our facilities near City Center in North Merida. We also offer home delivery with an extra cost. For more information, send a WhatsApp to 999.137.4731.
How can people learn more about you?
Ana: We social media – Instagram: inheritance_verde_Organicos and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HerenciaVerdeOrganicos. On both of these platforms, you can see the products we handle and learn a little more about us. You can also email us for additional questions or information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional local markets for fresh produce
Now, I hoped you noticed that I used the term “fresh” produce vs. “organic” produce. As you can see from the interview with Ana at Herencia Verde, they are certified organic. Notably, they ensure every part of their process is organic. If you are searching for organic produce in Mérida, I highly recommend Herencia Verde. We use them personally and for our catering company, SUMMUS Catering Service.
I highly recommend you visit the following markets:
Lucas de Galvez – Calle 56-A x 65 y 67, Centro
Be sure to bring some bags for purchases. You’ll get lost in the maze of stalls. If this is your first time, I highly recommend going through the main entrance and exploring the first few aisles slowly so you can get your bearings.
Santa Ana – Calle 47 x 58 y 60, Centro
I love the variety of eating establishments here. You’ll also find some other stalls to purchase produce and trinkets. However, this market is more well known for it’s loncherias or cocina economicas.
Chem Bech – Calle 57 x 42, Centro
Chem Bech (or you may hear Chen Bech) translates as bird’s nest. You’ll find all kinds of typical Yucatecan food as well as fresh produce and eggs. Head to the east side of Centro to this lively market.
Santiago – Calle 57 x 70, Centro
This market is very unique as it has the food stalls in front, clothing and items for sale and fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, flowers and fresh squeezed juices. It is my favorite of all the markets with the exception of Slow Food Yucatan.
Slow Food – Calle 33ᴰ 498 – Reparto Dolores Patrón, Centro
The original Slow Food market has unique items such as cheeses, freshly baked bread, organic meats and products from our favorite organic vendor Ana at Herencia Verde.
Organic Products in Mérida
In most countries, organic products have a seal of certification which guarantees that ingredients and production are organic. Different regulations in every country dictate the terminology on the label. However, in Mexico the products only have to be labelled organic.
You’ll find a variety of organic products such as coffee, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and meat, processed and packaged foods, even personal care products sold in Mérida. Most of these are found in specialty stores, co-ops, and neighborhood markets. Notably, some supermarket chains have realized the importance of this growing trend and stock organic products as well.
Final Thoughts on Where can I buy organic produce in Mérida?
With an amazing seasonal selection of the freshest, most delicious organic produce, Herencia Verde is by far our top pick and first choice for organic produce in Mérida. We’ve learned so many important things from the depth of the well to get to clean water to the actual organic process to become certified in Mexico. It was a delightful learning experience from Ana. Her passion and love for what she grows, harvests and shares is apparent.
If you are reading this article, be sure to mention it to Ana at Slow Food Markets – Centro Location – and you’ll receive a little gift from her!