Cooperativa Agua, Gorda Familia Garcia
In 1993, the Garcias moved from Mexico to California. They worked with fruit, grapes, peaches and plums. In 2000, the family moved to Long Prairie in central Minnesota.
In 2012, the family began their farm with just half an acre. Two years later they expanded to six acres. Last year, the operation expanded to nine acres of land in production of a variety of fruits and vegetables including tomatillos, watermelon, cantaloupe, jalapeno and bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes. They also raise spinach, radishes, cilantro, peppers and tomatoes in a greenhouse.
All produce is sold through Twin Cities-based Shared Ground Farmers’ Cooperative. Agua Gorda has been a member of Shared Ground for four years.
Javier runs the operation while maintaining full-time employment at Twin Eagle Dairy. His wife, Marina, is also employed at Twin Eagle Dairy and works part-time on the farm.
The Garcias’ son, Carlos, works part-time on the farm while maintaining a job off the farm. Jose Garcia, Javier’s brother, is co-owner of the operation. He also owns and operates a grocery store and restaurant in Long Prairie called Mi Pueblito. Up to five others help out during the busy harvest season.
The Garcias are involved with the produce wholesaler Minnesota Fresh in Long Prairie and the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Farm-to-School program. The family enjoys giving presentations on their farming practices.