Harvest Trails – El Paso County

Extension in the City Success Stories

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Text Transcription: Harvest Trails

Welcome to the Mission Trails Harvest Market. We had our grand opening on June 12.
Here, we are trying to actually connect the producer to the consumer.
They’ve got the little one on the west side. Now for this larger community, this one was small and now it’s growing all the time. We were screaming for it and we finally got it together.
I think a lot of people see urbanization and agriculture as mutually exclusive things and that’s not true, that’s just not right and this is one example of how those two can work together.
We got contacted by the city and they had a proposal to establish a farmers market and it would be a 3rd partnership between the Extension service, the City of El Paso, and ourselves.
So we have the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (formerly Texas Cooperative Extension) of course who bring in our farmers and we do tons of collaboration with them and also our Tiguas. They’ve offered the property; all kinds of support through the Tiguas.
When you work together, you get a lot more done.
This market was formed so that farmers could subsidize on the side; some of their income is from growing some vegetables on their farms.
They’re selling out. So it offers them a venue to come and sell their local wares rather than trying to ship them off to supermarkets. This is the place to do it.
Small, intensive, beach-type crops, greenhouse-type crops and really innovative types of projects. I think it’s going to be the key to the future of food and fiber production in this county in the future.
We have the opportunity to be able to offer vegetables, foods, everything within the area of Mexico as well so we’ve got an excellent opportunity.
This program is located in the lower valley of El Paso, which is probably one of the most economically disadvantaged areas. At the same time, it’s the most historic. And also it’s the headwaters to the rest of the mission trail. There are three missions’ businesses down the street.
So community development is a huge issue in this part, the oldest part of El Paso; it’s the most historic. If, hopefully, in the future we are able to sell at a more permanent type of a site, that’s going to create economic development not just for ourselves, but the community as a whole.
We hope to allow those who want to actually start a small business to step into this role. They can rent a space and a tent and really get the feel of what having a business is all about.