Meet Juan Guillermo from Mexico

“I consider myself a kind family man with an optimistic sense towards life. Friends and family are the things that I value the most.

Since I was a child, I have liked seeing seeds germinate and watch them grow. I attended a secondary school that offered agricultural workshops and I learned a lot about farm animals and growing plants and vegetables, including alternative methods such as hydroponics that at the time were a novelty.

Today as a grown man it is a joy to share home grown food with my family and people with limited resources. One of my main motivations for growing food is to convey to my son my passion for plants and to teach him the importance of this activity worldwide and how lucky we are to be able to grow our own food no matter how large or small the space for such activity.

My home is in Mexico City. I grow my food in a small 400 square meter garden. I use that space to grow my plants and vegetables in an amateur way. The climate of Mexico City is very friendly to grow most vegetables. However, as I am not a professional in the field of growing plants, I focus my efforts on easy-growing plants such as tomato, carrot, zucchini, onion, coriander, among others. I have also seen my fruit trees grow from seed. I have pear, orange, tangerine, guava, apple and mango trees.

I make my own compost with organic waste from our home. I buy my seeds and soil in the Xochimilco market, which is one of the largest plant markets in the world. In Mexico City it is the best option for both professionals and amateurs in the art of growing plants.

The biggest complication that I have encountered is performing this activity as an amateur. Many of my plantings are based on trial and error. Although many of our plantings have been successful, there are others that have not.

One of the main rewards of growing food at home is spending quality time with my family and particularly seeing my son’s smile when he realizes that food does not magically arrive at the supermarket. There is a lot of effort and dedication behind the food that comes to our table.

It doesn’t matter if you only have a small garden or if you have several hectares to plant. The important thing is to initiate and transmit the passion for this noble activity to the community and your loved ones.

As more people grow their own food, whether amateur or professional, awareness will grow about the importance of organic crops and we will be closer and closer to living in a sustainable world.”