The Feria Campesina de Penco is held in Chile’s third-oldest city, which faces the Pacific Ocean and was originally settled by the Mapuche people. This feria was started thanks to the efforts of women farmers and other female food producers from the local area. Initially united in the Asociación de Mujeres Campesinas de Penco, they decided they wanted to protect and promote the immense wealth of traditional knowledge that has been passed down through the generations for over 500 years.
Opened in 2010, the Feria Campesina de Penco became an Earth Market thanks to a collaboration between the municipality and the Slow Food Frontera del Sur Convivium, and is the first Earth Market made up only of women.
The market is held every 15 days, on the first and third Thursday of the month, from 9.30 am to 3 pm, in the Plaza de Armas. The 18 stalls are run by women producers from rural zones within 50 kilometers of the city center. The women who participate in the market offer their best produce, the fruits of a rich and generous land: fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, including chard, celery, coriander, pepper, tomatoes and lettuce, as well as red and white strawberries. Seasonality guides what is available, so in the fall shoppers can find Chilean apples and cooked chestnuts alongside jams and many types of medicinal plants and herbs. Some stalls also sell typical foods from the traditional cuisine: toasted flour, mote, wheat coffee, traditional wholewheat breads, tortillas and alfajores chilenos.
Penco residents make up the majority of visitors to the market, with many housewives choosing to buy fresh and genuine foods, strongly rooted in the local cuisine and rural traditions. Taste education event are also organized by the convivium within the market space.
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Frontera del Sur Convivium
Facebook – Convivia Frontera del Sur
First and third Thursday of the month, from 9.30 am to 3 pm
Plaza de Armas, Penco
The Feria Campesina de Penco Earth Market has been launched thanks to the support of the Ford Foundation.