In the final months of our farming advanced training semester, our HCT program coordinator, Leonor made it a goal to boost the local economy by hosting an event focused on the natural and organic foods grown by our farmers. This “Rural Farmers Market” would also be a recurring event multiple times a year, driven by the community.
Beginning in January, Leonor met with our farming families in Troilo and Goyena to establish a plan of action. She understood that for this event to be successful it needed community support to get it off the ground. A total of 18 people from Troilo volunteered their time to help set up the event. The Troilo team decided to host a 2-day farmers market that would include opportunities to sell their organic products and recreational activities for children. In addition to the fresh produce being sold, other handmade items like locally processed foods, jewelry, crafts, clothing, etc. were also going to be sold at the event to provide more options for visitors.
At the 2-day Troilo Farmers Market, 75% of our farmers sold their products and we received positive feedback of their experience in planning and hosting the market. Our team noticed that farmers took the initiative to better present their products by creating labels and signs to bring in customers. There was large community participation in the event. Many participants saw this as an opportunity to create cross-community events to build stronger relationships among the rural population.
A total of 10 people from Goyena volunteered their time to host a single-day farmers market that provided many of the same items in Troilo. The Goyena team organized themselves to sell mainly natural and prepared food products. 83% of our program participants sold their products at the market and we received positive reviews from visitors.
The Rural Farmers Market provided our program participants with a first-time experience at selling their products to a wider community. Exposure to events like this will help build their confidence and entrepreneurial skills as we begin to expand economic opportunities from an individual to a community level.
Our HCT coordinator, Leonor Zepeda has been working with the community to develop greater socio-economic development. To that end they have created a Rural Farmers Market idea, or Mercado Campesino where our local farmers can sell their produce and products to the community.Continue reading >