Famous for its spas and boutique hotels, San Miguel de Allende also attaches great importance to the dining experience which fosters the body and the mind. No wonder that many of the local restaurants offer salads and dishes prepared with organic produce grown in their own vegetable gardens, in their menus.
In San Miguel it is becoming more common for the local inhabitants to have green roofs where they grow vegetables and small fruit trees for their own consumption and to exchange with friends, giving the activity a sustainable basis. How can this be done? It is not complicated. It is very easy to find sources of information and training on this subject. One option is Via Organica, a Mexican non-profit organization dedicated to promoting good nutrition through organic agriculture, fair trade, a healthy life style, and the protection of the planet. Through this organization, located in the Landeta Park Municipal Plant Nursery of this municipality in the state of Guanajuato, a space for small-scale organic farming was created, where different planting and cultivation techniques are being developed with the aim of training those who wish to start a vegetable garden in their own home.
Through various methods of composting, irrigation techniques and protection of the environment, it provides everything you need to start your own food source, free of chemicals and fertilizers. If you cannot have a vegetable garden at home, in your neighborhood store you will find all kinds of produce grown in their vegetable garden and some imported products: fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, grains, meat and eggs,; gluten free products; bread, cookies and desserts; wines and beers; non-toxic cleaning products, and much more. Also available in the store, is a library with all the necessary information to get you started with your own space for growing vegetables. Most of these books have been donated by members of the Organic Consumer Association, whose information has been very useful in the region where it is increasingly common to see in the homes of the local inhabitants, products which are used directly for the vegetable garden to the plate.
Since 2010, every Saturday, an Organic Tianguis (open air market) is set up in the Juarez Park, right in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. Here, in a cloud of delicious aromas, colors and textures, farmers come to sell their crops, as well as other products of an organic nature, such as bread, cheeses, chocolates, honey, preserves, hand-made tortillas, coffee, etc.
In San Miguel, and throughout all of Mexico, there is a growing trend towards alternative healing therapies, such as aromatherapy and the use of natural beauty products. The soil and climate in the state of Guanajuato are conducive for growing lavender flowers, which need lots of sun, little water, and do not need fertilizers, and produce many derived products. This resulted in the fact that the Lavender Project was started near the town of La Colorada, which, based on this flower, produces natural coconut, lemongrass and honey, cinnamon, chocolate, dried flowers, and, of course, lavender soap; oils and flavored sewing products; lavender honey and jam and many other products.
For this organization it is very important to clarify the exact meaning of the word “natural”, because many brands use it just as a marketing strategy. That is why they, themselves, define their products as 100 per cent natural, in the understanding that in the processing of their products, they only use ingredients found in nature, which can be harvested in their original form, or can be extracted from plants and minerals; that have a positive effect on the body and work in harmony with the environment. No synthetic or manufactured ingredients are used; therefore they do not reflect the molecular structure, as occurs in nature, even if they are made from natural plants or mineral ingredients.
If, after walking along the steep streets of San Miguel, and visiting each one of its crafts stores, you feel the need to relax and regain your strength. Only ten minutes from downtown you will find the Mayan Baths, a wonderful underground complex of hot springs with high mineral content that will help you relax and become purified. Throughout its caves with quartz-rich rocks, run channels filled with water at a temperature of 77ºF, which is gradually reduced as you approach the outside swimming pool, from where you can enjoy a magical sunset, with the starry sky of San Miguel de Allende as a ceiling. Come and become infected by the natural spirit of this destination located in the heart of Mexico.