Mexico City is Using Aztec-era ‘Floating Gardens’ to Feed its People

Since the pandemic hit Mexico, the industrial food supply chain has struggled to keep up.

It’s not necessarily a unique problem. Cities around the world are dealing with food shortages and organizations like FarmLink have sprung up to try and remedy supply chain issues.

However, Mexico City’s solution is unique indeed.

On the outskirts of Mexico City, small farmers in the neighborhood of Xochimilco are filling the demand for fresh, local food.

They have increased production by rehabilitating abandoned floating gardens, called chinampas, on the waterways and canals of the neighborhood.

Chinampas have been used for thousands of years, first built by the Aztecs to feed their rapidly growing population.

They are created using mud and vegetation from the canals which are piled high to make a fenced-in area on the surface of the water. The fertile and well-irrigated gardens are one of the most productive types of agriculture in the world, allowing as many as seven harvests per year.

Healthy foods such as leafy greens, herbs, corn, beans, and squash thrive in the chinampas.

The floating gardens have been feeding the city for a millennium, both in times of sickness and in times of health.

Their rebirth during these times has been a saving grace to the people of Mexico City and a reminder that solutions often lie rooted in tradition.



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Danny Trifone

Director of Content at Blue Door Media. We email a newsletter twice a week focused on mental fitness. Join us, the Door is Open: