Del Maguey Wild Agave Project Update

Tepextate Flower

Del Maguey’s wild agave project began years ago with a small nursery in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, that produced a few hundred Tobala, Tepextate, and Espadin plants from seed with the objective of renewing these special natural resources from which we produce artisanal mezcal.

In 2020, we entered into an agreement with the Alfred Harp Helu Foundation to donate wild agave seeds collected by our family of producers to their nurseries, and, in return, receive a percentage of the plants that they carefully grow from those seeds to be reintroduced to the natural environment. At Del Maguey we are committed to leaving a positive and sustainable footprint in Oaxaca.

Collecting plants from the Harp Foundation nursery

In 2020 alone, Del Maguey donated over 80,000 Tobala seeds and received 23,000 Tobala plants.

In 2021, we donated 30,000 Cuixe seeds, 50,000 Jabali seeds, and 40,000 Tobala seeds and received 6,000 Cuixe plants, 18,000 Jabali plants, and 13,000 Tobala plants.

In 2022, 60,000 Tepextate seeds, and 40,000 Tobala seeds have already been germinated.

Wild Tobala seed collection

In consideration of the biodiversity of the region, seeds are collected in the Central Valley communities that have similar climates as where they will be planted. And the agave is transplanted to communities that benefit from the reforestation program.

For example, Del Maguey transplants agave to Santa Maria Albarradas, where the aforementioned varieties are actually used in mezcal production. The nursery in Sta. Maria belongs to Maestro Rogelio Martinez Cruz where they will grow safely to a size that gives a better chance of survival in the wild.

Planting agave in the Santa Maria Albarradas nursery

Once the agave has reached the proper size, 30% of these agaves are destined for village communal lands, and the rest will be transplanted to the mountain.

Rogelio, his family, and the community are pleased to receive the plants so that they may continue their stewardship and the future of this natural resource.

Rogelio Martinez Cruz planting agave pups