The secret to a town’s perfect potatoes? Its well-preserved forest.

Concepción Chiquirichapa, a town in southwestern Guatemala, is renowned for its excellent potatoes. The rise of potato agriculture there is due, in part, to the use of leaf litter as an organic fertilizer and a steady supply of high-quality water from the local forest, which the town began restoring and protecting four decades ago. As potato farming spreads and the local population grows, the town is attempting in several ways to protect its natural resources. This is the third part of Mongabay’s three-part profile of the Concepción community’s effort to restore the forest of Siete Orejas. Links to other stories in this three-part profile of the Concepción Chiquirichapa community’s stewardship of its sacred cloud forest will appear here once they are published: How a Mayan town restored its sacred cloud forest and water supply Ancient spirituality guides a Maya town’s conservation efforts CONCEPCIÓN CHIRIQUICHAPA, Guatemala — Each morning, the commercial terminal in Concepción Chiquirichapa gets busy. Potato farmers, alone or in groups, come here to negotiate the sale of thousands of pounds of their produce. Like most Guatemalan markets, all the activity takes place outdoors, in an area that resembles a bus terminal. Farmers negotiate with potato traders. Groups […]

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