HARLINGEN — Like Texans for the past 200 years, Diana Padilla put her faith in the land.
She didn’t anticipate the payoff would come so quickly.
Just six months after her organic farmer’s market called HOPE (Holistic, Organic, Practical Education) Small Farm Sustainability was opened on Morris Road, she’s now supplying 15 families a day with organic produce.
The Texas Department of Agriculture has approved the farmers market for the federal WIC Farmer’s Market Food and Nutrition Program. That allows the market to take WIC vouchers as payment for produce, and gives WIC recipients the option of buying organic for their families and their children.
“I tell the farmers to grow more. Grow more!” she says with the fervor of a whole foods evangelist.
Padilla now has eight farmers producing fruits, vegetables, eggs and honey for her market, and that’s in addition to the seven acres of vegetables she grows on her own certified-organic, 35-acre farm.
She’s in the process of helping those farmers from up and down the Valley who grow organically but aren’t certified complete that process.
“We are certified organic farmers, and we’re putting all these other farmers that are smaller, and we’re going to try to certify them under one co-op,” she said.
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Where: HOPE for Small Farm Sustainability,19833 Morris Road
What: Organic farmers market
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday