Tepetlixpa Native Beans

Mexico

Vegetables and vegetable preserves

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Tepetlixpa Native Beans

Beans are one of the most complete and nutritious foods, and an essential element in the ancient agricultural system known as milpa, based on the intercropping of corn, beans, pumpkins and dozens of other plants. They fix nitrogen in the soil for other plants and use the corn stalks as support as they climb and grow. Unfortunately, the symbiosis created by the milpa system is increasingly hard to find and cultivation of the hundreds of Phaseolus bean varieties native to Mexico is also rare these days.
In Tepetlixpa, a Mexico state municipality, Slow Food’s mapping activities have highlighted the extraordinary wealth of native beans that are intercropped with traditional corn varieties (ancho, azul, blanco, pepitilla and rojo), pumpkins, fava and lupin beans, chickpeas, amaranth, quinoa, avocado, nuts and other fruits, vegetables and quelites (wild greens).
Native varieties include amarillo bola (mustard yellow in color and with a high carbohydrate content), ayocote morado (large, from pale blue to deep violet, with a mild, full flavor, ideal for filling tlacoyos and tamales), bayo (uniform straw yellow or pink), mantequilla (beige, cream or pale coffee, excellent when stewed), pinto (pale pink tending toward coffee-color, with dark blotches), vaquita amarillo (pale mustard-color with white blotches, eaten cooked with herbs and vegetables) and vaquita rojo (mottled white and red). Despite their excellent nutritional value and characteristic flavor, these beans are not commonly eaten in the area, nor are they popular with farmers, who prefer more productive commercial varieties. Harvesting them is a complex process, which must be done by hand since the plants grow together with corn. This increases the production costs.

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The Presidium for Tepetlixpa’s native beans, coordinated by the Casa Tlalma- matla cooperative, was started in 2016 to preserve the huge genetic variety of beans grown within the milpa system. The Presidium uses agroecological techniques and promotes consumption of the beans. It was launched as part of the project “Slow Food and the Terra Madre Network in Mexico: actions and prospects in the fight against rural poverty and inequality through pro- motion and giving value to the local food heritage.” The Presidium’s objec- tives include strengthening the group’s production potential, safeguarding the seeds in situ, acquiring machinery and tools, storing the product, creating packaging and promoting the beans. Additionally, a production protocol, a communication campaign and a series of events to find new markets and raise consumer awareness are also being developed.

Production area
Tepetlixpa, Mexico State

Presidium supported by
Ford Foundation

In collaboration with
Comida Lenta A.C.
17 families united in the Casa Tlalmamatla cooperative
Producers’ Presidium Coordinator
Emma Villanueva Buendía
Tel. +52 5516452557
opaleui@hotmail.com

Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Eduardo Correa Palacios
Tel. +52 55 54386285
eduardo.correa@slowfoodmexicoycentroamerica.org
The Presidium for Tepetlixpa’s native beans, coordinated by the Casa Tlalma- matla cooperative, was started in 2016 to preserve the huge genetic variety of beans grown within the milpa system. The Presidium uses agroecological techniques and promotes consumption of the beans. It was launched as part of the project “Slow Food and the Terra Madre Network in Mexico: actions and prospects in the fight against rural poverty and inequality through pro- motion and giving value to the local food heritage.” The Presidium’s objec- tives include strengthening the group’s production potential, safeguarding the seeds in situ, acquiring machinery and tools, storing the product, creating packaging and promoting the beans. Additionally, a production protocol, a communication campaign and a series of events to find new markets and raise consumer awareness are also being developed.

Production area
Tepetlixpa, Mexico State

Presidium supported by
Ford Foundation

In collaboration with
Comida Lenta A.C.
17 families united in the Casa Tlalmamatla cooperative
Producers’ Presidium Coordinator
Emma Villanueva Buendía
Tel. +52 5516452557
opaleui@hotmail.com

Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Eduardo Correa Palacios
Tel. +52 55 54386285
eduardo.correa@slowfoodmexicoycentroamerica.org