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:

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.