Nutrition and Resilience: Responsible Consumption and Environmental Empathy

A programmatic platform focused on everyday food consumption and its ties with environmental regeneration and food sovereignty. The activities included in this thematic intertwine practical learning about urban agriculture and cooking with informational dynamics and practices to raise awareness, facilitated by farmers, biologists, chefs, activists, and nutritionists.

The main objective is to motivate neighbors about the importance of being aware of the ecological, social, and health implications of their decisions about food and consumption, as well as to inform them about alternative forms of preparation, production, and circulation of local foods, which return to traditional knowledges and that seek empathetic relations with the environment. In order to achieve these goals, this platform also includes the production of informational and didactic resources, which are temporarily displayed at Salón Huev@ and serve to introduce visitors to the platform’s most important contents.


Along this line, Casa Gallina has housed cooking workshops that use wild ingredients from the Valley of Mexico Basin, as well as workshops and consultating sessions on urban agriculture, focused on adapting ecological cultivation methods to the urban context, and film projections coordinated by neighborhood residents and invited specialists. These activities, with a shared thematic axis, allow for the work and energy of the neighbors participating in each one of them to be integrated and to complement one another. The conversations that occur in the film projections expose relevant interests and problems that are addressed in new workshops and encounters. Similarly, the agriculture and kitchen activities are kept in sync, so that Casa Gallina’s garden operates as a source of knowledge and ingredients that nourish the cooking workshops, which in turn reveal preparations of underused local ingredients that be grown in domestic gardens.  

Strategy implementation programs:

The Colors of the Ingredients Found in the Vegetable Garden

Dates: November 28 and December 5, 2020

Coordinator: Rodrigo Flores

Participants: 21 neighbors

 

Rodrigo Flores, a neighbor and illustrator who specializes in creative stimulation workshops for kids, coordinated this activity in which the participants experimented with the possibilities of using leaves as tools to express themselves visually, while paying special attention to their shapes, textures and colors. In the second session, once they had learned the techniques that Rodrigo transmitted to them, the kids intervened one of the walls at Casa Gallina using some of the leaves from the vegetable garden as inspiration. Each participant also recycled an old T-shirt by printing on it a relief of a Mexican pepperleaf herb.


Herbal Preparations for Children’s Doses Workshop

Dates: November 28, 2020

Coordinator: Sami Esfahani

Participants: 15 neighbors

Format: Online


This activity was attended by parents interested in learning a variety of herbal recipes that would support their children’s health care. They were informed specifically about sticking to the strict margins of safety when being given to children, and how these recipes are focused on children’s tastes and palates, which makes them easy to administer.


Medicinal Preparations from the Milpa Alta Tour and Workshop

Date: November 28, 2020

Coordinator: Angélica Palma

Participants: 72 live views 

Format: Video tour and live broadcast


This activity brought together residents of Santa María la Ribera interested in learning the qualities of plants present in the fields of the Milpa Alta region, such as pennyroyal, stafiate, muicle, and espinosilla, among others, with a view to maintaining and making best use of these natural resources as common household pharmaceuticals. The activity included sharing some plant care tips: correct drying, tying and storage towards taking advantage of their active ingredients.


Food and Childhood in Family Holidays

Date: November 25, 2020

Coordinator: Ixchel Aguilar

Participants: 17 connected to the live transmission, 681 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live


Chef Ixchel García spoke about the importance of healthy eating habits during childhood, framed within the diabetes and obesity epidemic in Mexico, and showed how the holidays can be a great pretext to involve kids in the kitchen. This activity was based on a survey of eating habits and childhood previously conducted with residents of Santa María la Ribera linked to Casa Gallina.


Science in the Kitchen

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Coordinator: Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Participants: 40 connected to the live broadcast, 721 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live


Chef Juan Carlos Hidalgo gave a brief and clear explanation of the physical and chemical processes that make up the nutrient chains in food, and how the different cooking and preparation processes influence the way they are absorbed into the body. He offered some tips to streamline these processes and get all the good out of food. He also prepared a vegetable burrito as an example of a quick snack that meets the required energy and nutritional balance.


Herbal Preparations for Winter Illness Workshop

Dates: August 12 and 30, October 10 and 24, November 28

Coordinators: Sami Esfahani and Piedad Ramírez Corona

Participants: 110 neighbors

Format: Online


These series of activities, carried out between August and November 2020, dealt with Santa María la Ribera resident’s concerns about diseases associated with the winter season, paying special attention to the complications derived from the Coronavirus pandemic. The content was limited to those ailments that commonly arise during the winter: colds, pneumonia and influenza. The consideration of how to fortify the body's vital systems (immune, nervous and respiratory) was added in order to learn how to keep the body and its natural defenses in optimal condition toward avoid complications from COVID-19. Accordingly, the preparations taught were the ones used to regulate the nervous system, strengthen the immune system, and treat respiratory problems. A herbal recipe book was developed and distributed among and through Casa Gallina’s neighbor network. 


PDF to download


Salad Dressings Workshop

Date: October 29, 2020

Coordinator: Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Participants: 25 registered neighbors; 45 connected live, 1264 reproductions


Chef Juan Carlos Hidalgo taught how to prepare three types of salad dressings that, in addition to being served as flavor enhancers, are also highly nutritious. Alongside explaining how to prepare them, he laid out which dishes they are best combined with. The dressings prepared were: a vinaigrette made with herbs from the vegetable garden, mayonnaise and Greek dressing.

 

Healthy Cooking Workshop for Kids

Date: October 17 and 24, 2020

Coordinators: Ixchel Aguilar, Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Participants: 33 neighbors 

Format: Zoom


During two sessions, kids and their families learned the basics for cooking some healthy dishes: pumpkin-based pizza, unsweetened fruit soda and banana cookies. The participants connected via Zoom with each team consisting of family members. The learning process started with the instructions and recipes but improvisation and the use of other ingredients were encouraged. The teams also shared their processes and results with each other. After the workshop the participants received a notebook in which to record their final recipes, incorporating the extra ingredients they may have used.


Milpa Alta Tour and Cooking Workshop

Dates: October 6 and 10, 2020

Hosted by Angélica Palma

Participating: 60 live reproductions

Format: Video tour and online workshop


Angélica Palma invited the neighbors of Casa Gallina to get to know the cornfields’ biodiversity of the Milpa Alta region, as well as getting to know the lowland and highland regions of the town of San Pedro Atocpan, which are rich in ingredients for food and herbalism. She talked about the extractivist relationship of resources from the city to its surroundings and the complexity of maintaining a delicate balance with the neighboring native peoples and their territories. As a result of these tours, the host collected some ingredients which were then shared with the community during a cooking workshop in which the preparation of corundas (speciality tamales) in a tomato and chilies sauce was taught.


Vinegar Conserves Workshop

Date: September 29, 2020

Coordinator: Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Participants: 18 neighbors

Format: Zoom


Chef and neighbor Juan Carlos Hidalgo taught the basics to prepare pickled preserves, as well as how to integrate ingredients and balance acidic flavors. Accordingly, the participants learned how to plan their own preparations based on the ingredients they had to hand, especially considering those about to spoil, or those that, due to their qualities, cost or storage difficulty, are optimally preserved in vinegar. He also taught how to make homemade vinegar from fruit and liquor.


Plant Alternatives to Dairy Products Workshop

Date: September 12, 2020

Coordinated: Lizbeth Maximino

Participants: 19 neighbors; 25 neighbors connected to the live broadcast, 776 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live

 

Chef Lizbeth Maximino taught how to take advantage of seeds and grains such as chickpeas, amaranth, oats, and walnuts to make plant substitutes for dairy products. She explained the economic and nutritional benefits of opting for these homemade alternatives; with her help, the participants prepared a chickpea hummus with pepper and amaranth water.


Home Composting: Towards a More Sustainable Urban Agriculture

Date: Thursday, November 26, 2020

Alonso Camilo Pérez

Participants: 26 connected to the live transmission, 825 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live


The architect and horticulturist Alonso Camilo Pérez spoke about the relevance of compost to stop depending on the substrate resources of other territories, detailing its biological function, explaining some of the various composting methods and the types of spaces they work best in. He also shared with the audience two examples of composters provided by two residents of Santa María la Ribera. Finally, he invited the audience to share ideas for taking advantage of homemade compost for the benefit of the environment.

 

Solar Dehydrator Workshop

Date: October 28, 2020

Coordinator: Moisés Gerzam Ledezma

Participants: 23 participating neighbors; 54 connected to the live broadcast, 1,467 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live


The neighbor and actor Moisés Gerzam Ledezma taught how to make a model of a homemade solar dehydrator—made with embroidery rings, lightweight netting, cord and clothespins—that has three levels for dehydrating food in the sun. Ledesma explained how the solar dehydration of food allows to preserve seasonal ingredients without detracting from their nutritional quality. He also explained what kind of ingredients can be used and how they should be cut and placed for proper dehydration.


A Visit to Permanent Earth 

Date: October 16, 2020

Coordinator: Javier de Cortina

Participants: 20 connected to the live transmission, 1,289 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live


Javier de Cortina conducted a virtual tour of the Permanent Earth headquarters: a demonstrative, educational and productive space dedicated to permaculture and regenerative design in Mexico City. De Cortina explained the operation of different ecological technologies: a domestic sewage filtering system; the construction of a warehouse made with biomaterials; polyculture plots linked to the residual matter of a chicken coop and a fish pond; among others. He also explained the ways in which Permanent Earth connects with neighbors, local school communities, and visitors in general.


Corn in the food of the Valley of Mexico

Date: November 24, 2020

Coordinator: Rafael Mier

Participants: 66 connected the live transmission, 2889 reproductions

Format: Facebook live


Rafael Mier, director of the Tortilla Foundation, spoke about the traditional cuisine of the Valley of Mexico and the role that Creole corn plays in creating it. He endorsed the importance of supporting activists, peasants and citizen organizations, who work for the defense of Mexican corn. He promoted the adoption of practices such as buying from small producers and establishing close relationships with local suppliers of regional dishes so it is possible to know first-hand the origin, meaning and best uses of the ingredients.

 

Agriculture for education

Date: September 22, 2020

Coordinator: Lourdes Cruz Terán

Participants: 63 connected to the live transmission, 3026 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live


The biologist, farmer and promoter of local consumption Lourdes Cruz Terán reviewed her career as an educator and manager of urban agriculture in collective spaces, such as theaters and juvenile detention centers. Her experience led participants to understand how to incorporate agriculture into children's daily lives as well as promoting a sensitive approach to nature and our relationship with food. Her work also gives meaning to other forms of learning, alternative to the ones found in a classroom setting.


Food Self-Sufficiency in Urban Contexts

Date: September 3, 2020

Coordinator: Patricia Iglesias

Participants: 57 connected live, 1183 reproductions

Format: Facebook Live

 

Food engineer Patricia Iglesias gave a talk about the challenges and alternatives to accessing safe and locally produced food in the city. She reflected on how poorly accessible they are for the majority of the population and how difficult it is for local producers and distributors to compete with commercial production and its distribution networks. Alternatives to facilitate this accessibility were also shared . In addition, she spoke about Permanent Earth, the regenerative design project she leads.


Conversation: Preventive Health in our Daily Habits

Date: July 22, 2020

Lecturer: Piedad Ramírez Corona, Cooperativa Tetlcalli Casa de Piedra

Participants: 38 live neighbors, 1783 reproductions.

Format: FB Live

 

During this Facebook Live event, Piedad Ramírez Corona spoke with neighbors about the lesser-known values of some plants and vegetables, as well as the nature of some common diseases. She also summarized a series of habits that can help strengthen the body in the face of the adversities of urban life. She highlighted the importance of nutritious food, its active ingredients and our eating habits, which can significantly support treatments for health and the reduction of diseases, such as those associated with COVID-19.


Getting to know the garden: Recognition Session in Casa Gallina’s Garden

Date: January 26, 2019

Facilitator: Valeria Ramírez

Participants: 18 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera

 

An open call to neighbors for visiting Casa Gallina’s garden, learn about its general elements and become involved in its future activities.

 

Insect Inn

Date: March 8, 2019

Facilitator: Samantha Becker Nocetti

Participants: 20 neighbors from Santa María la Ribera

 

Environmentalist Samantha Becker coordinated the neighbors in creating a habitat inn for insects, using logs, straw, and leftover construction material. The residents became involved in the tasks of setting up the inn, which included cutting, drilling, and tying together different utensils, and also received theoretical information about how the inn operates and its importance for pollinating agents in a context of environmental deterioration.

The collaborative construction of this insect habitat inaugurated the urban agriculture activities in a new space of the House, which had been specially prepared for it. These activities seek to respond to a growing interest in the neighborhood in learning about urban agriculture, as well as to expose and problematize the ecological functions of domestic agriculture beyond food production.

 

Urban Agriculture Open Consultations

Dates: January – June, 2019

Facilitator: Valeria Ramírez, Aseneth Ureña

Participants: 40 neighbors from Santa María la Ribera

 

Casa Gallina’s garden is always cared for by neighborhood volunteers, who come to the house once a week to carry out maintenance, resolve issues for their own gardens, and harvest vegetables that they share between themselves and the rest of the community. These tasks are coordinated by residents with experience in horticulture and education, who take charge of the consultations for periods that span from six to twelve months.

The constant work of the consultations allows for a sustained link between the lessons in the kitchen and those of urban agriculture. It also enables sharing the harvest week to week and has allowed new people to get in touch with Casa Gallina, through the generation of new experiences with unfamiliar ingredients. As of May, the hours of the open consultations will be extended with the goal of attending to the scheduling needs of other sectors of the community, as well as to activate part of the House’s roof as a garden.  

 

Salón huev@: Food Consumption

Dates: March – June, 2019


To enrich the agriculture and kitchen activities of this period, Salón Huev@ was equipped with diverse didactic materials. In collaboration with neighborhood resident and illustrator Berenice Medina, we produced a series of packaging mock-ups for common industrial products, in which the risks of their consumption as well as homemade alternatives of yogurts, seasonings, and cereals were depicted. Additionally, a series of posters were made about the nutritional value of regional and seasonal foods, as well as other materials providing information about the labeling of food, commercial food products and also about common habits related to food waste.

Making programmatic content about nutrition and the environment available to people who are passing by allows for sharing specific high-quality information with neighborhood residents who do not have the time to attend longer activities, as well as offering an opportunity for those residents who wish to complement their experiences in the workshops and expand their knowledge.

 

Edible Gardens and Pollinating Insects Workshop

Date: April – May, 2019

Facilitator: Aseneth Ureña

Participants: 21 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera


An introductory workshop to the practice of agro-ecology, emphasizing its importance for the environmental regulation of pollinating agents, such as insects, plants, and flowers.

This workshop continues the process of activating part of Casa Gallina’s rooftop to implement urban agriculture dynamics, which started with the creation of the insect inn. After this workshop, the participants articulate projects to carry out actions of environmental regeneration in the neighborhood’s public space, which include making maps to identify and gather seeds, as well as developing small garden formats for business premises and planters, through a collaboration with other residents.

 

Milpa Workshop for Children

Dates: April – May, 2019

Facilitator: Valeria Ramírez

Participants: 15 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera


A workshop in which children, accompanied by their parents, started planting and caring for a milpa in Casa Gallina’s garden.

 

Workshop on Cooking with Plants for Teenagers

Dates: February – May, 2019

Facilitators: Gibrán Turón, Raúl Armando Gómez and Sebastian Siorda

Participants: 18 students from the CCCI

Partner: Centro Cultural y de Capacitación Integral

 

A workshop designed for students of the high school program at the Centro Cultural y de Capacitación Integral, which focused on teaching participants about the basic fundamental techniques for preparing food. The workshop emphasized learning about the nutritional and cultural importance of ingredients and dishes from the Valley of Mexico, so that they could imagine and implement forms of sharing what they have learned with the rest of the community.

The participants in this workshop organized an activity in La Dalia market, promoting and offering tastings of the ingredients that they used throughout the sessions. The activity aimed to raise awareness of new forms of preparing these ingredients, their nutritional and ecological value, as well as to stimulate their demand within the La Dalia market.

 

Where does our food come from? Nutrition workshop for children

Date: Saturday March 9, 2019

Facilitator: Tracy Cheveroni

Participants: 19 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera


Children from the neighborhood participate in a session with didactic dynamics to understand the notion of a “food footprint” used to the refer to the environmental impacts involved in our consumption of food.

 

Film cycle: From Consumption to Waste

Dates: March – June, 2019

Coordinators: Francisco García, Roberto Campos, Adrián Cuevas, Yvain Mouneau, Alberto Jyasu.

Participants: 120 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera


Programming comprised of films selected by different neighbors, whose narrative intersects with some phenomenon or context that represents or exemplifies problematics related to food waste and consumption. At the end of each projection, the neighbor who selected the movie facilitates an open conversation about how the film reflects situations that are present in the immediate context.

 

Presentation of the documentary Voices of Diabetes

Date: May 8, 2019

Coordinator: Katia García

Participants: 15 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera

Partner: El Poder del Consumidor A.C.

 

Nutritionist Katia Garcia, director of El poder del consumidor A.C. presented a series of clips that included different testimonies of patients with diabetes, discussing with the attendees about the social and commercial factors that are related to the increase in cases of this disease.

 

Xochimilco Cooking Workshop

Dates: May – June, 2019

Coordinator: Carlota Pacheco

Participants: 19 neighbors from Santa María la Ribera

 

Residents learn to prepare plates based on ingredients from the southeastern region of the Valley of Mexico. They also learn techniques for making the most of food waste and preparing natural seasonings free of additives and preservatives.

With this workshop, residents learn about regional ingredients that have currently fallen into disuse in the city, as well as about the context in which they are cultivated and prepared, thus emphasizing the value of promoting their consumption in the city and recognizing the current function of tradition and the social and ecological value of indigenous communities in the Valley of Mexico.

 

Food Coop

Date: May 30th, 2019

Coordinator: Luis Bracamontes

Participants: 15 neighborhood residents

Partner: Consumer Cooperative La Imposible


Luis Bracamontes from “La Imposible” a cooperative of local producers, presented the documentary Food Coop and introduced attendees to the issue of cooperatives and alternative economies.

This encounter enabled attendees to learn about the general elements of cooperativism and express their specific concerns regarding the development cooperatives at the local level. There was so much interest in the topic that the majority of the neighbors proposed to continue working on the issue and to participate in workshops and processes aimed at imagining cooperative projects in the neighborhood. 


Cooking Workshop: Discovering Flavors

Dates: February – May, 2019

Led by: Lizbeth Maximino Lara

Participants: 16 neighbors


In this workshop, participants learned to prepare dishes and preserves whose presentation and flavor would appeal to children and youths, so as to acquaint them with the consumption of wild fruits such as nanche, prickly pear, chilacayote gourd or capulin (similar to black cherry) and ingredients such as quelites (wild spinach), huitlacoche (maize truffle), maize and cactus. This workshop was presented by Lizbeth Maximino Lara, a neighbor and chef in the local restaurant Juliz.

The participants in the workshop “Discovering Flavors” cooperated with the children from the Summer Workshop “Holidays in the Cornfield”, developing a dynamics of sharing knowledge and reinforcing community linkages, in which the children made tortillas they decorated with vegetable dyes while the women prepared dishes that would go in the tacos they all offered to passers-by and neighbors. They also shared therecipe booklets. Due to this experience, new strategies are envisaged to program cooking activities in schools in Santa Maria la Ribera neighborhood.


Workshop on Urban Gardens for the Entire Family

Timeframe: June-August 2019

Led by: Dante Aguilar

Participants: 15 neighbors


Workshop on urban gardens for neighbors of all ages, focused on all participants starting their own kitchen garden taking into account the factors of time, space, cost and personal interests, with the aim to jointly articulate a network of complementary kitchen gardens. To do so, they carried out a sowing plan and decided which species each would plant, and the most suitable containers and techniques for each case.

Following the originally planned sessions, due to the consistency and interest of most participants, the workshop was extended to a second stage, where they worked directly in their homes, to mutually collaborate in setting up their urban kitchen gardens. Therefore, a basic planting manual was established, which included some of the experiences encountered in this workshop along with practical and financial solutions to approach urban agriculture. To care for them, they set up agreements on joint follow-up and management.

 

Encounters: The Maize Grains of Milpa Alta

Timeframe: 27th July 2019

Led by: Angélica Palma

Participants: 22 female neighbors

Associate: Calpulli Tecalco A.C.


Angélica Palma, a cook and activist for the preservation of local culture in Milpa Alta, spoke with participants in the “Discovering Flavors” cooking workshop and other neighbors. She presented the socio-historic and environmental context of the locality and explained the functioning and relevance of the agricultural system of terraces still in use today, but at risk due to urban sprawl and the severing of the intergenerational transmission of knowledge on regional indigenous practices. At the end, she taught them how to prepare a typical recipe of chilacayohtli broth.

Following this activity, a new collaboration with Calpulli Tecalco A.C. was embarked on, with the aim to continue disseminating indigenous knowledge concerning food, the environment and community-building.


The Space I Inhabit: Personal and Domestic Hygiene Using Herbs and Ecological Products 

Dates: October – December, 2019

Facilitators: Sami Esfahani and Leticia Flores

Participants: 18 neighbors


This workshop is a productive platform proposed by Leticia Flores, a neighbor and biologist, who collaborated with Sami Esfahani, a specialist in traditional Mexican medicine. It brings the community together to learn about making hygiene products, cleaning, maintaining the domestic space, and mental and physical health. At the workshop, the neighbors learned an ancient recipe for making biodegradable soap from used oil that also serves for other cleaning and hygiene products. They also prepared mixtures from herbs, plants, flowers, oils and wax in order to learn the plants’ properties and normalize taking care of the domestic space and the body using these products and mixtures.


A Garden in a Pot

Date: Octuber – November, 2019

Coordinator: Dante Aguilar

Participants: 20 neighbors


An urban agriculture workshop in which neighbors of all different ages participated. It was given by the horticulturalist Dante Aguilar and was focused on making efficient use of light, water and soil that is commonly found in small homes. It also focused on how to think collectively about the community vegetable garden whose crops grow in different houses to be exchanged between the participating neighbors later. The participants also worked directly in the Casa Gallina vegetable garden on tasks related to the winter season: prunins, soild preparation, making paths and transplanting.


Installation of the Compost Pen and Community Vegetable Garden on Peral Street 

Date: November, 2019

Facilitator: Aseneth Ureña and Fernanda Poblete

Participants: 20 neighbors


Derived from Creating Community: Brownfield Projects Lab, a number of neighbors organized themselves to install a project to prototype a network of community compost pen in a disused lot on Peral Street that they upkeep through a form of shared custody. The network they created considers the design and creation of a large-capacity, low-cost compost pen where the community can take their organic waste and learn how to make compost, thereby understanding the value of this towards creating a better handling of trash and creating fertilizer for the neighborhood’s plants. The neighbors installed the network’s first compost pen in Peral Street, designed and implemented a set of operating rules and publicity in the expectation of demonstrating how it works.


Celebrating the Market’s Anniversary

Date: March 5, 2020

Participants: 10 neighbors cooked and 150 people received recipe books and tamales

March 5, 2020

Ally: La Dalia Market

 

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the “La Dalia” market, neighbors who participated in the cycle of “From the Village to the Neighborhood” cooking workshops—held from August to November 2019 at Casa Gallina—made tamales or bean molotes with banana mole based on neighbor Norma López's recipe. This traditional dish from Veracruz's northern highlands was shared at a market stall, along with a recipe book with typical recipes from the birthplace of various Santa María la Ribera residents who work in the food business. This publication was designed and printed by neighbor Santiago Grijalva.

 

Spring Renovation of the Casa Gallina Community Garden

Date: March 7, 2020

Participants: 34 neighbors


Neighbors who previously participated in urban agriculture activities at Casa Gallina assisted in harvesting winter vegetables and carrying out maintenance tasks in the garden: pruning, transplanting, pest control and germinating seeds.

 

At the end, they prepared a lunch with what was reaped and shared it with the participants of the Know Your Sewing Machine Workshop, who in turn gave them grocery bags they had made from recycled shirts.


Smart Cooking Club

Date: Saturday May 2, 2020

Coordinator: Miguel Iwadare

Participants: 9 neighbors

Format: Online class


The online class Smart Cooking Club gave food specialist Miguel Iwadare the opportunity to speak with a group of Santa María la Ribera residents about the challenges they have faced in the kitchen during the confinement caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The most common doubts and problems expressed by participants were chosen to create a manual of practical tips to improve efficiency in the kitchen, prioritizing the use of nutritious and low cost ingredients; the manual also highlights the kitchen as a place of affective cohesion during quarantine.


Weekly Harvest

Exchanging vegetables for dark bottles

Date: May 2020 to date

Coordinator: Dante Aguilar

Participants: 35 neighbors


Since May, Dante Aguilar, the person in charge of Casa Gallina’s orchard, has been delivering portions of the harvest to residents previously linked to the Casa's activities as a response to the quarantine enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Deliveries occur one person at a time, once a week and are made in exchange for dark glass bottles, jars, plastic bottles and other materials that are reused in our urban agriculture tasks.


Online workshop: Urban Agriculture in Confined Spaces

Date: July 25 - August 22

Given by: Alonso Camilo Pérez Redondo

Format: Online Workshop

Participants: 17 neighbors

 

Under the coordination of the horticulturist and architect Alonso Camilo Pérez, participants planted vegetables in their homes following the principles of permaculture. In addition to the technical training, emphasis was placed on understanding urban agriculture as a basic need for subsistence within a deteriorated habitat, particularly one that urgently needs basic human activities to play a more positive part in regenerating the environment and promoting local biodiversity.

 

Talk: Tips for Healthy, Fast and Inexpensive Cooking

Date: July 30, 2020

Facilitated by: Lizbeth Maximino

Format: Facebook live

Participants: 40 people live

 

Local cook Lizbeth Maximino shared the procedure for making fruit preserves and answered questions about preserving seeds, fruits, chilies and sweet herbs. Maximino stressed that the best way to take advantage of our food, while also reducing waste, is to buy local and seasonal products in adequate quantities that allow them to be consumed fresh. She asserted the importance of organization in the kitchen: the use of transparent containers that must carry a strict labeling system (detailing the duration) of our preserves and leftovers; and the advantages of making an effort to use our vegetables, even when they are about to spoil, to make water-based drinks, flavored vinegars, or even compost.

 

Talk: Permaculture and Everyday Life

Date: July 28, 2020

Facilitated by: Dante Aguilar

Format: Facebook live

Participants: 30 people connected to the live broadcast

 

In this conversation, Dante Aguilar spoke about the knowledge and practices that encompass permacultureunderstood as the way to fully attend to our basic needs and at the same time contribute positively to the environment. In addition, Aguilar shared with the audience some practices, such as the manufacture of homemade solar ovens, that aim to solve the basic needs of everyday life today, which is characterized by accelerated environmental deterioration and negative consequences on the quality of life for both people and ecosystems.

 

Delivery of Gooseberry Cuttings and Composter Materials

Date: July 10, 2020

Participants: 32 neighbors

 

Neighbors received gooseberry cuttings to plant in their homes and thus propagate this fruit free throughout the neighborhood. It is well known in South America for its nutritional and therapeutic properties. Buckets ideal for making homemade compost were also handed out, to be used as instructed in the video tutorial made by horticulturist Dante Aguilar and readily available on Casa Gallina's Facebook and YouTube pages. The growth of the cape gooseberries and the operation of the composters was monitored remotely.

 

Casa Gallina's Urban Garden with Dante Aguilar

Date: Continuous programming

Coordinator: Dante Aguilar

Participants: 2030 people on each live broadcast; 136 neighbors (approximately) as of August 14

 

From June 19 to August 14, 2020, ten live broadcasts took place during which the manager of the Casa Gallina urban garden, Dante Aguilar, gave advice on agriculture, provided information on agroecology and answered queries voiced by the members of the audience, in a format that also includes people from outside of Santa María la Ribera. At the end of each transmission the neighbors followed an arranged schedule of individual appointments to receive family-sized portions of Casa Gallina’s harvest in exchange for glass bottles and plastic containers for reuse in the garden. In addition to the broadcasts, Dante attends to the neighbors linked to the urban agriculture program through WhatsApp groups where they constantly share progress and doubts.