Before the Aztecs, early Mesoamericans built floating farms that provided fertile land for crops near modern-day Mexico City. In fact, these farms, or “chinampas” still have some of the country’s most fertile land. But because they are costly to maintain, some local farmers are abandoning the chinampas for better-paying work in the city. That’s where Lucio Usobiaga comes in. He’s the co-founder of Yolcan—a nonprofit aimed at preserving the chinampas. By connecting farmers with more than 50 chefs across the country, Yolcan is not only helping preserve the history of the chinampas, he’s helping give Mexico’s chic restaurants its choicest ingredients, as well.
This story is a part of our Flavors series, where we do so much more than play with our food. Come with us as we dive into deliciously different and tastefully off-beat stories in the culinary world.
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