Things Are Popping at the Pop-Up Market
The weekly Pop-Up Market at Palmilla Dunes each Friday is more than food and crafts. It’s a great way to find local produce and artisanal goods and so much more. Having launched in November of this year, the market has grown considerably over the past several weeks—in number of vendors and those seeking fresh produce, breads, poultry products, and other handcrafted items. I recently had the opportunity to talk with a number of the vendors, some of whom have been selling their products in the Palmilla area for many years; most are family-owned and operated, and some are second and third generation.
Take Alberto Castro, for example. He and his father own and operate their farm located in Animas Baja, just outside San José del Cabo. Having been born and raised in the area, Castro knows where to purchase heirloom seeds, what kind of weed control to use to ensure his produce is organic, and what the public’s requirements are for eating healthy. No harmful chemicals are used; instead he uses natural weed controllers such as garlic, neem tree oil, and aloe vera. Rather than use conventional fertilizers, he makes his own compost to enrich the soil, which makes for healthy plants.
Castro’s wife extends the life of the fruits and vegetables by making preserves in jars and also sells dehydrated tomatoes in bags. Castro has laying chickens for fresh eggs and fresh chickens that he gets from another ranch. He makes certain no hormones are used. On his farm, he also has banana, papaya, and mango trees, plus he grows watermelons. His farm and extended ranch are totally sustainable without exhausting natural resources.
Pablo Luis Sosa is from Oaxaca on the mainland of México, where much of his family still resides and provides him with the handmade woven products that his mother, father, and grandmother make and ship to Sosa to sell. The fabrics are primarily wool from sheep and goats, plus cotton. His father operates a loom upon which he weaves the wool and his mother and grandmother create beautiful embroidery designs on tablecloths, bedspreads, quilts, runners, and coasters. Backpacks are a new item, as are egg baskets and handbags made from recycled plastic bottles. Besides the farmers markets where he sells his products, Sosa also operates a store in San José del Cabo.
Arturo Quiroz Fukushima and his partner, Seth Pasternak, have owned and operated a bakery since 2011, offering breads and pastries from their store in Animas, which is open to the public. Pasternak is from Santa Cruz, California, where he owned his own bakery and catering business for 16 years. They specialize in sourdough bread, using a German recipe from a starter that is 62 years old and a whole wheat sourdough starter that is 29 years old. In addition to a multigrain bread, they offer a variety such as roasted garlic and cheddar, jalapeño and feta cheese, calamata olives and sun-dried tomato, quinoa and chia, or they will customize for their customers by special order. Only organic flour is used, and 80 percent of their products are vegan. The carrot, blueberry, and zucchini muffins are in great demand as are cookies with a combination of ingredients such as coconut and lime, or ginger and molasses, or chocolate chip and fennel. New this year is a chocolate cacao and chocolate iced cake. Gluten-free products are available upon request. Soon to come are French pastries.
The Pop-Up Market also has room for organizations to sell their merchandise so they can raise funds for their causes. One such agency is VIFAC, which stands for Vida y Familia (Life and Family), an organization that provides a home for pregnant women, girls and, in some cases, children. I met with Martha Acero who has been with VIFAC two and a half years. During that time, the youngest girl to give birth was 10 years old. VIFAC’s mission is to assist and train women during pregnancy, offering alternatives for their development and that of their child and to educate the mothers-to-be about contraceptives, which are given free of charge at most health clinics. VIFAC is not an adoption agency, however, they work closely with DIF, a Mexican public institution of social assistance that focuses on strengthening and developing the welfare of the Mexican families. There are 25 such VIFAC homes throughout Mexico; the one for Baja Sur is located in Cabo San Lucas and has the most unexpected pregnancies per capita. There is no cost to the live-ins; they assist with the household, learn how to live an orderly life, and may learn skills during their residency. At the Pop-Up Market, little green mesh bags are sold to shoppers to carry their produce home. So, come an enjoy an authentic Mexican market experience and the opportunity to support local charities.
— Sandra A. Berry
Residences – Private Club – Shops
Address: Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 27.5
San José del Cabo BCS 23400
Phone: Tel. (624) 146.9095 / Cel. (624) 159.5983