Sembrando Confianza: Organic eats with a social impact

sembrando confianza

I come from California, the birthplace of fancy—but unregulated and therefore technically meaningless—food buzzwords like local and natural.   That said, my first reaction at these kinds of terms is a little bit of an eye roll.  Moving to Bogotá, I wasn’t too concerned with finding an organic or local label. I find little buggies in my broccoli every week, which says to me that what I’m eating is probably more on the natural side.  However, if I can directly support small operators who really are doing their best to organically and sustainably farm, all the better!

This past week I learned about a really cool non-profit organization who is using a CSA-type program in order to make a big social impact here in Bogotá.  Sembrando Confianza, which translates to Seeds of Confidence, is a non-profit which seeks to help Bogotanos in two specific ways. Firstly, they provide education on healthier food habits and help neighborhoods in Bogotá install self-sustained, organic gardens. Secondly, they support already operating urban farmers by connecting them with a market.

Sembrando Confianza currently works with 30 local producers, all of which are located within the localities Bogotá. The idea of farming within this city seems impossible and it’s true that these producers face some interesting circumstances. At the information session, I heard stories about the incredible ways people are using what they have to make a living: some people grow lettuce on rooftops and one woman uses neighborhood green spaces so her five cows can graze.

However, space limitations aren’t the only obstacles these farmers face. Most of the producers are located in San Cristóbal, a very rough neighborhood in the south of the city where many families live in vulnerable circumstances—employment, security and adequate nutrition are daily concerns.  Many of these producers had already been farming or making their products, but were unable to connect with a market because of serious challenges to transportation.  Without a car (and a majority are without), it’s impossible to move products the hour and a half or so to more central parts of the city.

That’s why Sembrando Confianza’s work is so great—they’ve stepped in to connect these local producers with a wider market who can pay a fair price for the time and labor required to grow or make their products.  In addition, the Sembrando Confianza organization trained these urban farmers on how to implement sustainable and organic practices and routinely ensure that they maintain these standards.

Next week I’m looking forward to eggs, fresh made yogurt and quinoa bread, as well as whatever vegetables and fruits have been harvested that week.  Boxes are delivered to your home each Wednesday and range in price (based on the size and variety of products) from 35,000-70,000COP.  Even better, you can add on various other items such as charcuterie, honey, and coffee.

If you live in Bogotá and want to try one of their weekly baskets, visit their website here.  And before you go, use the comments section to give a shout-out to a small, local business—whether it’s food, a local designer or artist—that you love here in Bogotá.

sembrando confianza
Pictured above is a sample of the smallest basket offered, for 35,000COP. This week’s delivery included 2 yogurts, 6 eggs, 3 brownies, kale, 2 kinds of lettuce, parsley, green onions, carrots, limes, pears, plums, cauliflower, and potatoes.

8 thoughts on “Sembrando Confianza: Organic eats with a social impact

  1. I love this post and this cause! Way to not only support a healthier, fair and more sustainable market, but also to share and promote what really should be the standard everywhere.

  2. Do have any advice for a first time orderer? I love this idea, and want to support it! Do you pay in cash or prefer the transfer? Do you personally order the big one? How much comes in it? And how do you know what comes in it? It also doesn’t seem to be clear how to order coffee and honey (which I would love to do!) thanks in advance for any help you have!

    1. Hi Lauren-thank you for asking your questions and wanting to support Sembrando Confianza! For a first time orderer, I would just choose the smallest basket one time just to see if you like it. I leave the money with my portero the morning of the delivery, because doing a bank transfer seems like a hassle.

      I order the smallest option, because we are a family of two. Each week we get a few of the same things (lettuce, carrots, 6 eggs, 500g yogurt, quinoa bread or almohabanas) and then few other items which happens to be ripe that week (usually some kind of fruit and other veggies). I’m going to forward you an email I received from them at an information session I attended, which has the details of quantities and general products included in each size basket. If you would like to order coffee or honey, you simply add a comment with your order and then they’ll confirm with you. Lastly, don’t hesitate to email them with specific questions-although their website is in Spanish, there are staff members who speak English and would be more than happy to help you!

  3. Wow! That stuff all looks fabulous. Good for you that you’re supporting this effort. We need more of that kind of thing in this world.

    From California, eh? I’m originally from San Francisco.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’re slowly turning into a crusty, old New Englander.

    1. Well, to be honest I’m the worst kind of Oregonian, because after growing up there I moved around and ended up spending 9 years in San Diego (and now claim that spot as ‘home’). Who knows…a couple more years in Bogotá and I’ll probably start calling myself Colombian!

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