Posted by: Jena Davison | December 28, 2011

Zapallo Verde: Local Food Cooperative

About six months ago, I joined a local food cooperative here in Quito called Zapallo Verde. Buying produce and homemade items through Zapallo Verde means supporting local farmers and small businesses. It means buying organic and saying no to pesticides. It means purchasing directly from producers and avoiding marketplace competition, which allows for fair prices and fair pay.

Zapallo Verde Canasta

Zapallo Verde has lots to choose from. Each week, members can order seasonal fruits and vegetables, or opt for a small ($5) or large ($10) canasta (basket) of mixed produce. There are all sorts of dairy products, including feta cheese, goat cheese and ricotta cheese, as well as natural yogurt.

Variety of Goat Cheeses

Fresh marmalade made with local fruits can top any of the offered homemade breads and biscuits, baked with whole grains, corn, chochos or squash. Several cakes, cookies and pies can satisfy your sweet tooth as well: flan, zucchini bread, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies are weekly staples. All sorts of flours (plantain, corn, wheat, haba) are also for sale, so you can make your own baked goods at home!

Zucchini Bread

Zapallo Verde is perfect for vegetarians and it has a selection of vegetarian alternatives, such as quinoa burgers, bean burgers, two different kinds of seitan, and vegetarian tamales and empanadas. Hummus and baba ganoush are sometimes available as well. Other items include organic ketchup, honey, and aloe shampoo and lotion.

Black Bean Burgers

The cooperative has a one-time fee of $10 to join, then you can order an unlimited amount of fresh products online weekly. All orders need to be placed by 2:30 p.m. on Mondays and are picked up at La Casa del Árbol in La Floresta (at the corner of Lugo y Vizcaya) each Wednesday between 5 and 7 p.m. You can have your orders delivered by bicycle as well, for an additional cost. Even if you are not a member, you can stop by the house on Wednesday evenings during pick-up time and sample some of the leftover products, which are for sale. Additionally, Zapallo Verde occasionally has events or trips to local farms to meet the producers and see how some of the goods are grown or made.

If you’d like more information about Zapallo Verde or would like to join, email



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