Rancho El Limón

Rancho El Limón, forty-five minutes out of Puerto Vallarta toward the Sierra Madre Mountains in the state of Jalisco, is a real, honest-to-goodness organic farm. Every Sunday, Alison brings the ranch’es bounty of cherry tomatoes, mixed salad greens, fennel, arugula, freshly laid eggs, and sometimes a giant Mexican squash or watermelon, to the market at the La Cruz Marina.

Since the Sunday Market began, Alison and her table of organic harvest are all we have known about Rancho El Limón, so Russ and I jumped at an opportunity to visit the ranch when we were invited to an open house. It was a chance for a number of us who participate in the market to tour the ranch, meet Alison’s partner, Manuel de Jesús, and learn about the other side of Rancho El Limón, the Pura Vida Spa.

The day was one of those bright, sunny Mexican days, when the sun seems too bright, the sky almost too brilliant. Alison and Manuel had a lunch ready for us under the cool shade of mango trees, featuring — what else — a huge salad of homegrown ingredients, with local fresh cheeses and corn tortillas. We would have expected nothing less. Even the salad dressing of pureed tomatoes came from the land.

Alison was formerly involved in a venture that sold chimeneas made to her specifications. This interesting stove, made of fired, glazed clay, comes with racks for cooking over the chimney, and that is exactly how the tortillas served with lunch were heated over a fire of mango wood. This type of stove, in one form or another, is found all over the world, and Mexico has a long tradition of relying on chimineas for heating and cooking. This one was a beauty in form and function.

A large, clay horno, or oven, was just outside the kitchen. It had recently been used to cook pizzas, but they were not on the menu today. Hornos, made of adobe clay, also have a long history in Mexico, and are seen in backyards throughout the countryside.

After lunch, we were taken on a tour of the house, with its spacious dining room, well-appointed guest rooms, and breezy walkways. Manuel has owned the ranch house and its thirty hectares of farm land for over twenty years. The house has a comfortable, welcoming feel, perfect for an afternoon with friends.

This was when we learned about the other business side to Rancho El Limón, known as Pura Vida Spa. Winter visitors and busy Puerto Vallartans can spend a few days enjoying the treatments for body and soul, with massage, steam baths, stretching exercise, and other activities that sooth and relax.

The highlight for me, beside the organic lunch, great ranch house, hospitable hosts, pleasant companions, and shady garden setting — in short, everything — was the tour of the greenhouse, the source of our weekly, organic salad fixings. Rancho El Limón produces its own compost and worm castings for pesticide- and chemical-free produce.

The afternoon ended with a walk to the calm Rio Ameca, a far cry from the raging river it can become during the summer rainy season. Sculpted ficus trees and wild flowers lined the walk. The dogs romped. A perfect afternoon.

Alison is at the Sunday Market at the La Cruz Marina, and can tell you more about Rancho El Limón, its organic produce and spa activities. As long as you are there, buy some salad greens and cherry tomatoes. Her tomatoes are as sweet as candy.

Alison is also at the Sayulita market every Friday from 10 am until 2 pm until May 13. She is organizing a summer market at the Bucerias Bilingual Community Center that will begin Saturday May 7, also 10 am until 2 pm. The BBCC is two blocks behind Carnes del Mundo on Calle 16 de Septiembre, #48.

Rancho El Limón has a web page with more information and photos. It is between Ixtapa and Las Palmas, but don’t try to find it by yourself — the maze of ranch roads are tricky to negotiate.  Alison can provide detailed directions if you want to visit.

Rancho el Limón
Las Palmas, Jalisco
044 322 110 1689 English
044 322 174 8986 español
From within USA/Cananda 858 736 9004
email: info@rancholimon.com,  rancholimon@gmail.com

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  1. #1 by Laura on April 26, 2011 - 3:10 pm

    This place sounds amazing! Beautiful photos!

    • #2 by Cooking in Mexico on April 26, 2011 - 9:56 pm

      Thanks! I hope you can check it out sometime. Your readers would love it.

  2. #3 by Karen on April 26, 2011 - 9:11 pm

    What a wondrous place, beautiful!

    • #4 by Cooking in Mexico on April 26, 2011 - 9:46 pm

      I hope you can go there sometime to see it all. You would like it.

  3. #5 by anneke on April 27, 2011 - 6:28 pm

    Hi Kathleen, Greetings to you and Russ from Corpus Christi, TX! We just arrived in Texas from the west coast and are parked at water’s edge at the CC Naval Airstation RV park for the month of May. The winds are hot and blowing at up to 45 miles p.h. here at the moment, so we are rocking and rolling as if we were on a boat!!!! Craziness!
    I absolutely loved your Rancho El Limon segment and can’t wait to get back to Banderas Bay, (hoping to find a furnished rental in La Cruz) probably next November for six months, and check it out for myself. The place looks wonderful. I have forwarded your posting to several other friends down there.
    I so look forward to each new recipe/story from you. Makes my day!
    Love to you both. It was great seeing you!

    • #6 by Cooking in Mexico on April 27, 2011 - 7:10 pm

      Hi Anneke,
      It was great seeing you two as well. I can picture where you are on the windy Gulf. Don’t blow away!
      We will look forward to your being La Cruzians next winter.
      Hugs,
      Kathleen

  4. #7 by Lyndsey on April 28, 2011 - 5:44 am

    I will certainly like some tomatoes and greens…please! What a great visit to such a beautiful, wonderful place. Some place I could settle in very easy. What a treat to see all those organics at the open market. Thanks for taking me with you.

    The 50/50 mango/pineapple juice to hibiscus tea tip is perfect…thanks. I like that better than using cane sugar. I’ll do that next time.

    • #8 by Cooking in Mexico on April 28, 2011 - 5:30 pm

      We are so fortunate to have more and more organic produce available in our area. This was something we never saw ten years ago. And judging by the buyers turning out in force, the availability of organic produce will continue to grow.

  5. #9 by Alison and Manuel on April 28, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Kathleen,you did a beautiful article on us and the photos are wonderful….Thank you so much.
    As for the visit, well you were THE perfect guests and you are welcome here anytime. See you Sunday! Loved the new twist on the hummous. It was delicious!

    • #10 by Cooking in Mexico on April 28, 2011 - 5:31 pm

      Thanks, Alison! It was a pleasure to visit and we hope to do it again.

  6. #11 by sweetlife on April 29, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    How fun, I would love to visit Rancho el Limon..I recently purchased two chimeneas for my backyard in Progreso and I am thrilled !! I also downloaded plans for a horno for the backyard, so happy to see the picture of theirs … it’s amazing!! thanks for the review and their info. Please send well wishes to your friends in Corpus Christi, Texas. My hometown is very near Corpus, so we have enjoyed alot of time there.

    sweetlife

    • #12 by Cooking in Mexico on April 29, 2011 - 4:00 pm

      Sweetlife, I will look forward to hearing about your experiences cooking on a chimenea. Since our visit to Rancho El Limón, we are talking about getting one, also.
      I will convey your greetings to Anneke, my friend near Corpus Christi. Thank you.

  7. #13 by Dmarie on April 30, 2011 - 10:37 am

    I am crazy for that mosaic floor. thanks so much for taking me along on your outing!

    • #14 by Cooking in Mexico on April 30, 2011 - 10:51 am

      That tile floor is a good way to use broken pieces of tile, something you would especially appreciate.

  8. #15 by Vicki in GA on May 1, 2011 - 12:16 pm

    Beautiful place.

  9. #16 by Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet on May 2, 2011 - 9:43 pm

    The mosaic floor is beautiful. I love these types of design features in the buildings in Mexico. We are still waiting for tomatoes etc. The benefits of living south . . .

  10. #17 by Jen S. on October 26, 2011 - 7:29 pm

    Looks amazing. Thanks a bunch for sharing these great pictures.

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