Explore the farm-to-table mission
Mission San Juan retains much of the rural feel it had when it was established in 1731. This Spanish Mission made the most of its site directly along the banks of the San Antonio River, using a dam and an acequia to irrigate the cultivated farm lands called labores.
Today, the Spanish Colonial farm is once again a critical food source, and a testament to the interconnectivity that remains between the Missions and San Antonio. The San Antonio Food Bank farms about 45 acres adjoining the 5-acre Spanish Colonial Demonstration Farm. The produce grown on the 45-acres will nourish thousands of needy Texas families. The Food Bank also operates the Demonstration Farm using water from the acequia, planting crops prevalent in the 18th century, and using no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
While here, explore the remnants of the living quarters, workshops, and perimeter walls, or walk the interpretive nature trail that parallels the acequia. Go inside the small white-stucco church that dominates the mission landscape, and think about the labor it took to place the large wooden beams that support the clay tile ceiling. Across the plaza are the remains of an unfinished late-Colonial period church, indicating the residents had bigger plans for their community.