Small Farmers Project
Margarito Palacios, Basilio Sandoval, and Juan and Jacqueline Hernandez are members of the Small Farmers Project, a cooperative venture among eight low-income Latino families. They currently raise organic stawberries and heritage-variety black cap raspberries on six leased acres along East Beacon Drive north of Eugene. The SFP was organized two years ago by Sarah Cantril, founder if the local non-profit Huerto de la Familia (the Family Garden) and funded by a grant from Heifer International. Participating families come from various parts of Mexico, as well as El Salvador and Peru. "I love farming and gardening," says Basilio Sandoval, a native of Nayarit state in Mexico, who picked pears as a teenager in orchards near Medford where his dad was a foreman, and who now works as a drug and alcohol counselor at Centro Latinoamericano. "This is part-time work for us. All of the families contribute." The season for black cap raspberries is finished, but strawberries should be available until mid-September, picked or u-pick, 9 to 5 daily at the SFP fruit stand on East Beacon Drive. (Call to verify at 541-232-2510.) More crops will be added in future years. Learn more at huertodelafamilia.org.