Visiting a Local Organic Farmer’s Market

For months I have been trying to get to the local organic farmer’s market Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra at La Placita de La Roosevelt in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

I was told that it might have the leafy greens I was looking for by several folks such as our friend Gabriel, Isa, and Stephanie from Peace N Loaf.  So we packed up the baby on last Sunday morning and drove up to San Juan. We talked to our friend Zuleyka and she was going to meet up with us there.

Farmer’s Stands

When we got there the place was already buzzing with folks. Some were just setting up food and tents. We walked over to what I thought was spinach at a table sponsored by local farmers Siembra Tres Vida. I had encountered their name on and found out through Isa that their products make up the boxes of ElDepartamentodelaComida who were recently part of a TEDxSanJuan conference.

I had researched Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes months ago on their site and saw they sell local veggies along with Isa’s artesanal bread. These boxes are sold for a fee from certied, local, organic farms. They are filled with seasonal fruits and vegetables and some farmers even have animal protein that you can purchase. If you go to Local Harvest, put your zipcode or state and see what farms are closest to where you live. Some farmers will delivery to your home or you can go and pick it up. There are some farms that will allow you to pick your own fruits and vegetables. The idea is two fold, you pay the farm for their produce and they inturn use that money to purchase more seeds to plant and grow crops.

We were greeted by a young man who helped exposed us to a new green called Tatsoi . I had a taste of the leafy green and decided to grab a bag along with eggplants. Raul told him about our blog and the young man proceeded to tell us how we could get in touch with the farm in Aibonito (close to our home) to visit and possibly pick our own vegetables.

Tatsoi and Eggplant we purchased

As we went to other tables to see what they were selling, I was looking out for collards and kale. We saw what Turmeric looks like raw. I have read about the properties of the plant and how good it is for arthritis. We went to another table that had all sorts of plants, herbal, vegetable, and medicinal.

We asked the farmer if he had greens and he said he was sold out. So we did the next best thing and picked up some collard green seeds. He told us they germinate quickly so I will have to find a spot in a pot to plant them. We bought fresh celery and a roselle that can be prepared similar to cranberries and be made into a beverage better known as Hibiscus tea.

Collar Green Seeds

Peace n Loaf

We also encountered Stephanie who along with @Isasbread make vegan/vegetarian pizza at @Peacenloaf and artesanal bread. We have been following @Isasbread on twitter for several years and we finally tasted some of the bread she makes. I can tell you that the bread was enjoyed by the entire family.

We had hempseed and a chocolate/orange bread and as Isa had explained previously on Twitter, they put their bread in the CSA boxes for El Dept de la Comida. Stephanie explained to Raul about keeping the bread fresh in little sack they gifted us which hand made locally in Puerto Rico. We need to fill our new natural bread bag more often.

Stephanie explaining to customer about the breads for the day


As we were lingereing around, we did see people selling food and setting up. The farmers had a cooler and inside of the cooler was my pot of gold. The ever elusive Collard Greens and Kale!

The farm is called Bikai located in Camuy and they also provided CSA boxes for a reasonable price. You can get your box in Camuy or meet up with them in San Juan or in the Rincon area. Frances and Rolando were so helpful  to us about the service they provide. Rolando helped me sort out what was kale and collards and I grabbed bunches. They also were selling vegetarain food and oatmeal cookies.

Raul ordered the food and it had great flavor. He said he should have ordered another plate to take home. Rolando also showed us another plant that was for consumption called Moringa. The farmer we had encountered earlier was actually looking for Raul to tell him that Rolando had greens. He told the farmer that I picked up a bunch from Rolando and that was great to see them helping each other out.

Me with my leafy greens collards and kale from Bikai Farms

The ambiance was familiar and Puerto Rican Christmas folk music was great. They have a schedule out for next year of when they will be getting together to sell products at this particular market. They local growers meet the first and third of every month.  If you go, you will not be disappointed with the committment these farmers have to growing local organics.

When we got home, I cooked my kale with aubergine and celery along with other spices. There is a big difference when you are eating store bought aubergine and celery as oppossed to the local organics. It tastes fresh and it smells divine.

Do you shop at local organic farmer’s markets near your home?

Do you participate in CSA boxes? How has your experience been?

Link to “Mercado Organico 2012” Calendar for Your Mac


View Larger Map




  1. Luis Tobon on December 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I like to visit farmer’s markets from time to time but I am trying to grow most of my veggies in my backyard garden. I don’t use any chemicals, make my own compost and don’t grow any try to stick to heirloom varieties.

    This time of year for the garden is pretty slow but I will be starting seeds next weekend or so. I don’t know if you have seen my gardening blog:


  2. LucyNo Gravatar on December 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for leaving a comment Luis! I did not inherit my mother or father’s green thumb. In Puerto Rico they grow, herbs, plantains, bananas, Puerto Rican pumpkin, raise chickens and at one time had rabbits. I will check out your blog for tips because I will sure need them. We have just bought a juicer and read about using the leftover pulp/fiber  for compost. With the collard greens seeds, I am going to make sure I give some to my dad to see what he can grow. Since you are in California, I am sure you have great vegetables growing all year round. 

  3. Raul ColonNo Gravatar on December 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Given our lack of skills and time to grow our own we are more than happy to have been able to find a Farmer’s market like this one. 

    Will also take a look at your blog. 

  4. BikaividaNo Gravatar on December 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    guys, we are glad you enjoy it and very happy to see the wonderful job you do informing people about all these important matters.  We hope to see you soon. 


    Frances and Rolando

  5. Raul ColonNo Gravatar on December 31, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    As part of my personal goals I would love to help the Organic Farmer’s market get more awareness and any efforts tied to those efforts.

    Looking forward to getting more produce from Bikai please contact us to see where we can meet before January 15, 2012. 

  6. I’m a Parent Obsessed with Nutrition on January 23, 2012 at 8:01 am

    […] have started to purchase food from local organic farmersat a market in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The movement of Community Supported Agriculture is alive in […]

  7. The Island’s on the Map & Filled With Courage on January 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    […] is the bigger interests on the Island want to keep us from buying produce from the locals like the Local Organic markets or great projects like the Departamento de la Comida. I clearly think Monica needs to do her […]

  8. […] made by @IsasBread and Stephanie at their establishment Peace n’ Loaf, you can get to the Local Organic Farmer’s Market in San Juan, Puerto Rico every first and third Sunday. You will find them also selling bread at the […]

  9. Earth Day everyday in Puerto Rico on April 16, 2012 at 10:54 am

    […] brown thumb into a green one. Many of the seeds and plants in our garden have been purchased at the Organic Farmer’s Market in San Juan, Puerto […]

  10. Runnur around Puerto Rico on April 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

    […] to @RJ_C for taking the picture of Daniela and I at the Organic Market to celebrate Earth Day in Puerto […]

  11. 9 Ways To Use a Coconut on May 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

    […] first and third Sunday of the month the family and I visit San Juan Organic Farmer’s Market where I get to mingle and interact with other Vegans and Vegetarians here on the […]

  12. We’ve Got Collard Greens on May 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    […] to a few of our friends we found greens at the local organic market that we visit every first and third Sunday. When we first started purchasing seeds, we bought them […]

  13. […] vegetarian friendly places are closed. We have already mentioned consuming Isa and Stephanie’s artisanal bread at the local Organic Market In La Placita de la Roosevelt many times. Since we moved to the metro […]

Leave a Comment