Residents of Santiago, Chile’s capital and the country’s largest urban agglomeration, have increasingly fewer options for buying food directly from producers, and farmers’ markets are rare. Commercial and residential buildings have been constructed on land around the city that was once used for agriculture, and small shops and markets have been replaced by supermarkets and chains. Nonetheless, many fresh, seasonal foods are still produced in the area.
The Mercato Encuentro del Campo a la Ciudad di Santiago came about thanks to a collaboration between the local Slow Food convivium and a group of farmers and food producers working in the city outskirts.
Initially, a simple collective buying group was organized (Slow Food members would visit the farms every two or three weeks and buy directly from the producers), but then the producers started to gather every second Saturday in Santiago, setting up a market at an environmental education center.
The Earth Market is still held twice a month, on the first and second Saturdays. The market offers the only option in the Providencia neighborhood for buying local food directly from producers, at reasonable prices.
The market has 12 producers who come from around the Santiago Metropolitan Region. They sell eggs, fruit and vegetables, preserves, products for natural medicines, raw-milk cheeses and baked goods like traditional wholemeal breads made from local varieties of wheat and other grains. Visitors can participate in educational activities organized by the convivium in collaboration with the producers.
First and third Saturday of the month
Universidad Academia Humanismo Cristiano, Providencia
The Encuentro del Campo a la Ciudad di Santiago Earth Market has been launched thanks to the support of the Ford Foundation.