The MEXICO Report
By Susie Albin-Najera
In his job as Host of Martha Stewart Living Radio Show’s, “Living Today”, Mario Bosquez likes to know where his ingredients come from. On a recent trip to Mexico, he visited the avocado farmers of Uruapan in Michoacán. His purpose: to get insight into avocado cultivation, growing, and harvesting.
Why did you go to Michoacán for avocados?
I went to Michoacán because they grow the amazing, delicious, Hass avocados that account for the majority of avocados shipped around the world.
Is it avocado season in Mexico?
According to the farmers, it’s always avocado season!!! With their wonderful growing climate and farming techniques, there always seem to be avocados ready for harvesting.
What was the farm you visited?
I visited a farm in Uruapan and the sight of avocado trees on rolling hills throughout a land dotted with dormant volcanoes, the buzz of bees pollinating the trees was absolutely breathtaking.
Can you share some insight from the trip?
This trip was an incredible, eye-opening experience!!! I learned how to choose the perfect, ripe avocado (look for darker fruit and make sure the stem end isn’t too dried out) and how to make an avocado smoothie!
What did you learn about avocados?
They can be on the tree from nine months to a year before they can be harvested. avocados only begin to ripen once they are picked from the tree. And the avocados destined for U.S. markets are put through stringent, high-level inspections overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Also, one of the largest avocados they have harvested weighed a pound!
What are the avocado farmers like?
The avocado farmers are among the most intense, dedicated people I have ever met. They live and breathe avocados and know every nuance of every tree and every inch of the orchard. I look at avocados that I purchase now with a whole new degree of respect.
What was your overall experience visiting Mexico?
I can hardly wait to go back to Mexico. I definitely am planning a return visit to Morelia. This beautiful city is now a World Heritage Site and with its architecture, people, and FOOD… is a must-see for everyone.
Would you recommend visiting the avocado farms in Michoacán, and if so, what advice would you give?
Due to the strict growing standards it might be a little difficult to visit an avocado orchard but you can check with the Avocado Farmers of Mexico. I would definitely recommend visiting the area around Uruapan and Morelia and enjoy the varied, delicious ways they serve avocados!!!
So, Mario, how do you make an avocado smoothie?
Mix half an avocado with some simple syrup and finish with grapefruit soda!!! Puree and presto!
Check out the avocado smoothie Mario sampled on his trip!
Avocado Farmers of Mexico:
Avocados From Mexico: http://www.avocadosfrommexico.com