Marissa Garcia, Executive Director
240 E. 12th Ave., Eugene. OR 97401
Huerto de la Familia offers Latino families a place to connect to their roots and the earth by growing their own food, as well as training and peer education in organic gardening, small-scale farming and small business creation. We build wide-ranging partnerships to achieve our goals of cultural identity, community integration and economic self-sufficiency in the Latino community. The goal of the organization is to support families in increasing their health, nutrition and economic security. We work to help families access nutritious and culturally familiar food and to enable families to save money and increase their assets and earnings.
Huerto de la Familia’s Organic Garden Program provides families with the opportunity to grow their own organic fruits and vegetables. Families receive instruction in organic gardening through a six-week Spanish-language class called Siembra la Cena (Seed-to-Supper). We also provide supplies such as seeds and starts to each participating family and each garden has an on-site tool shed with tools for communal use. In the Fall, Huerto de la Familia teaches food preservation classes. In the Spring, our organization puts on a free health clinic called Dia de Salud where we collaborate with the University of Oregon and other community organizations to offer health screenings and information. The Organic Garden Program gives our member families autonomy over what they eat. No longer are their food choices determined by the availability or affordability of healthful and culturally appropriate foods.
Huerto de la Familia’s second program is the Cambios Micro-Development Program, which offers education, practical training, and individualized business counseling for starting small businesses in food and farming. Through the Cambios Program, Huerto de la Familia provides a 10-week Spanish-language business class. After this class, some participants are able to participate in the Cambios Food Booth. Participants of the food booth incubator receive technical assistance in the creation of food-based businesses, training in the use of a certified kitchen, and hands-on learning of sales, marketing, profit and loss tracking and other business concepts.
For participants interested in starting farm business, the Cambios Farm Program provides training in the form of farm business classes and in-field organic agriculture workshops. Partners for these classes and workshops include Oregon State University’s Small Farms Program and Natural Resources Conservation Services. Through the Farm Business Auxiliary, we work hard to promote increased access to land for Latino farmers. With this program we strive to help shift the role of Latinos in agriculture from laborers to leaders.
At Huerto de la Familia, we prioritize ensuring that our work will benefit our participating families while simultaneously making an impact on local and regional systems. We have many allies throughout our community and all of Oregon. Our allies and partnerships are important to us as a way to promote knowledge-sharing and creative collaboration around increased access to healthy, affordable and local foods. Huerto de la Familia is a member of the Coalition for the Advancement of Latino Farmers, along with Adelante Mujeres and Raices of Next Door, Inc. We are also part of the Alliance for Healthy Families and Lane County’s Immigrant Integration Network.