Puerto Rico is known for its agriculture. From sugar cane, to tobacco, coffee and tropical fruits, it’s common to see farms and crops all around the island. When planning my trip to Puerto Rico, I wanted to explore its authentic flavors and foods, opting out of conventional supermarkets are diving into “los mercados” and “fincas”.
by My Puerto Rico Experience
El Departamento de la Comida
Founded in 2010, the Department of Food aims to increase the production and consumption of ecological crops from Puerto Rico through different services. It markets, sells and promotes access to these important crops, with awareness for Puerto Rico’s fertile lands and our people’s health. You can buy fresh produce and delicious vegetarian meals from Wednesday to Friday at Punta Las Marías 2413, Calle Laurel.
For more information on hours and services, write to [email protected].
Cooperativa Orgánica Madre Tierra
This nonprofit Coop started in 2000, and also aims to develop and promote Puerto Rico’s ecological agriculture. It believes in taking care of our planet while simultaneously feeding our bodies with healthy, unprocessed foods. Every 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of each month, you can go to El Mercado at Placita Roosevelt to purchase organic products and attend their workshops.
For more information on programs and services, call 787-200-8580 or write to [email protected].
Coffee Picking Farms
I also wanted an authentic farming experience during my trip to Puerto Rico, and a friend recommended I visit a coffee farm. Most of these farms are in constant need of volunteers, so you can go coffee picking for a few hours. I did it and it was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Just keep in mind the bug spray and comfortable clothes. A few of the farms you can visit:
Hacienda Tres Ángeles, Adjuntas
This farm is particularly fun because of its location on top of a mountain in a cool atmosphere. After you spend your day picking coffee and learning the art of making a pot, you end up with a sweet, delicious cup of coffee. Call ahead to make reservations (787) 360-0019 or visit www.haciendatresangeles.com. Tours are usually Saturdays at 9am.
Café Nativo, Jayuya
This hacienda uses almost all its energy from solar panels. They show you around the farm, where the crops are and how the process of making a cup of coffee takes place. It’s owned by the Giuliani Rivera family since 1994, and located in Barrio Collores, Jayuya. For more information on visit hours, call (787) 315-7881 or go to www.cafenativopuertorico.com.
Hacienda Buena Vista, Ponce
This particular farm is more like a museum, since it was built in the 19th century. Learn how coffee was done back then, and how it differs from today. Bonus! Tours are offered in both Spanish and English languages. For more information call (787) 722-5882.
Of all the things I learned during my trip to Puerto Rico, the most touching was how Puerto Ricans are so eager to share their passion for ecological agriculture and local food. My favorite social media movements to discover these kindred spirits were Food Truck Republic and La Mafia. ¡Buen provecho!