Green soul. That’s the literal meaning behind “Almaverde,” and an apt articulation of its focus on growing community through sustainable farming practice. Only 15 minutes from the Nuevo Vallarta resort hotels, this 40-acre organic-compliant working farm was started both to further the resort’s sustainability, but also to enable greater control over ingredient quality. As a result, Vidanta’s restaurants, employee cafeterias, and groceries and markets can now enjoy the highest standard in local product: food that’s cultivated, prepared, and enjoyed, without ever leaving home.
All of Almaverde’s crops are raised from seeds to seedling in an on-site greenhouse to protect them from pests when they’re at their most vulnerable (and delicious). Then, when they’re mature enough, they’re planted in the open field or the casa sombra (shade house) and nurtured until they’re ready for harvest. Crops are then brought to the resort to be used by Vidanta Dining or sold in La Alacena, the full service grocery store in the Mercado Gourmet on the first floor of La Plaza.
The farm is worked entirely by hand, from planting, to care, to eventual harvest, by a team overseen by agronomist engineer Alfredo Ruiz Aguilar that ranges from only 15 in the low season, to 30 in the high season. Its practice of sustainability manifests most clearly in the journey each planting takes from the earth to diners’ plates. Almaverde currently has 67 different types of produce in production, with the goal of expanding to over 100 produce varieties, aiming ever closer to the ultimate wish for sustainability: full self-sustenance in all foods that can be grown in Mexico’s warm climate.
Almaverde brings quintessential Mexican ingredients to life: from corn and peppers, to zucchini and cauliflower, to cilantro and tomatoes, whose versatility complements the diverse range of Mexican cuisine. Among its harvest are ingredients for one dish of particular national significance: Chiles en Nogada, the official dish of Mexican Independence, enjoyed only during its celebration in September.
This traditional dish consists of poblano chili peppers stuffed with a combination of mincemeat and seasonal fruits and bathed in a rich, creamy walnut sauce, then finally garnished with pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley. Hence the colors of this dish—green parsley and pepper, white sauce, and red seeds—reflect those of the Mexican flag. The poblano pepper at the heart of this dish takes roughly 200 days to grow, from seed to harvest. Thanks to Almaverde, Vidanta’s chefs can feature an ingredient imbued with the warmth of Mexican sun, soil, and support, from start to finish.
You can enjoy a traditional plate of Chiles en Nogada at Epazote in celebration of Mexico’s independence and vibrant cultural history at Nuevo Vallarta’s own Epazote during the month of September.
To tour this tranquil farm and see its workings for yourself, contact your concierge.