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East side community farm fundraising for new tractor after theirs was stolen

The Garcia Street Urban Farm helps provide healthy, affordable produce for the community. Lately, working without a tractor has been slowing them down.

SAN ANTONIO — On the city's east side, a small but mighty team works to make sure healthy, affordable produce is easily accessible for the community they serve. The Garcia Street Urban Farm is a  nonprofit associated with Alamo Colleges' William R. Sinkin Eco Centro. 

The farm aims to serve the community through urban food production and agriculture. 

One of the four farmers, Ariana Fuentes, said the surrounding neighborhood is heavily made up of San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) residents. 

"What we’re hoping to do is use organic growing practices to be able to have the healthiest produce, to be able to offer to our neighbors and our community here," Fuentes said.

The community farm hosts market days Wednesday evening's from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. until mid-June. For the last year, the team of four was forced to switch to manual labor after their tractor was stolen. 

"We have to move things like the huge batches of mulch, soil, compost things like that all on our own," said Fuentes. "With the tractor it would be so much more efficient." 

This month, the group decided to start fundraising for a new tractor. They are trying to reach $40,000 to help them with the purchase. 

With a new tractor, Fuentes said they would have a higher capacity to continue serving their neighbors. 

As inflation continues to impact grocery store prices, community farms are even more essential in keeping healthy, affordable produce accessible. 

This year, inflation spiked 8% at the grocery stores compared to a year ago. 

At the Garcia Street Urban Farm, people are able to get produce at a cheap price, or sometimes for free. The farm also accepts EBT benefits. 

"We’re always trying to focus on our community," said Fuentes. 


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