Tierra Fértil, a worker-owned Hispanic farmer cooperative, was selected by RAFI USA to receive a $5,000 grant from our Cooperative Community Fund (CCF). Tierra Fértil, which means fertile ground in English, was established during the pandemic when six community members leased and started farming a one-acre plot of land in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
The farmers, who are originally from El Salvador and Mexico, grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers, including varieties that are culturally appropriate for the Latino market. The farm provides food for their families, and they now grow enough food to sell the produce and flowers through their newly formed CSA. The farm also provides food for partnering churches and Abundancia Food Bank.
The farm will use the grant funds to purchase a refrigeration system for the farm to increase the shelf life of their products and support the overall capacity of the farm as they expand their CSA this year.
Our CCF Grant Committee worked with RAFI’s Farmers of Color Network to solicit grant applications for the $5,000 grant. RAFI identified Tierra Fértil as a farmer group with a high need for financial support with a proposed project that was well-thought out and would have a significant, tangible impact on the farm.