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South Texas is known for commercial agriculture, with its vast fields of sugarcane, citrus, and vegetables. And most of that food goes far beyond the Rio Grande Valley. But one immigrant family from El Salvador is doing something different: Everything they grow stays near home.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a moment in which our broader food supply chains have been challenged—dairy farmers dumping unused milk, farmers plowing over produce, meatpacking plants closing, and grocery store shelves running empty.

In some communities, that means people are now turning to smaller, local farms for their produce. One of those farms is run by the Hernández family in Edinburg, Texas. Their farm, Nature’s Heartland has a mission to sustain its community with healthy pesticide-free produce, and has been a regular at local farmers’ markets for years.

Civia Hernández in her family’s farm. (Photo by Jerry Redfern/Latino USA)

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, 26-year-old daughter Civia Hernández has been working to adapt and bring the farm online, to survive in this new world. In this dispatch, Civia brings us on the ground to her family’s farm, which has become a place of peaceful sanctuary for her in these difficult times.

This story was produced with support from the International Women’s Media Foundation.

 Featured photo by Jerry Redfern.

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