HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. — A Hispanic, worker-owned cooperative is producing fruits and vegetables. However, it is also producing an impact on the agricultural system in Henderson county. 


What You Need To Know

Tierra Fértil Cooperative is a Hispanic, worker-owned cooperative

Around 10.7% of the population in Henderson County faces food insecurity

Tierra Fértil currently rents land, but hopes to buy its own farm in the near future


Tierra Fértil Cooperative originated from an idea during the pandemic. 

“Maybe it’s time to do something that I really want to do and have been passionate about — growing food,” Tierra Fértil Founder Delia Jovel said.

Jovel’s dream turned into a community project that she’s extremely proud of. 

“I feel like the people we put around us can create the life that we want,” Jovel said.

The project is a farming initiative honoring the environment and their community in Hendersonville. 

According to the Community Foundation of Henderson County, 10.7% of the population in Henderson County faces food insecurity.

Jovel’s vision is to promote access to food production resources and ultimately stimulate food justice and racial equity in the local agricultural system.

She said the project isn’t about monetary wealth or income. 

“Maybe it’s not the best one [income] or the highest one, but it’s the wealth we have behind growing food,” she said.

The wealth Jovel is referring to is what she feels within and what she feels working beside Maria Lopez and Carlos Dubon. 

“It makes me forget about everything else,” Dubon said. “It makes me forget about everything else when I'm doing this. It's like, my time goes by so quick. Being in contact with something you like, something you love to do, it helps you heal.” 

Lopez also appreciates the small details.

“I love to pick up the tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos ... everything, you know!” Lopez said.

As she smells the flowers, she said she feels like she’s inhaling fresh air. 

Lopez’s ultimate goal is for her resources and knowledge in farming to reach El Salvador, where Lopez is from.

“I would like to buy small land in my country and give jobs to the people,” Lopez said. 

Tierra Fértil currently rents land, but hopes to buy its own farm in the near future. 

“Step by step. We can do it,” Lopez said on the initiative’s growth. 

For now, Jovel and the group are committed to growing in Hendersonville. 

“It’s not about 20 years of experience, it’s about a feeling,” Jovel said.