THANKS to your support, the El Oasis farm in Mexico continues to provide operating resources for the care of the children. As you will see in the infographic below, this is not a small operation, since it has over 70 acres in cultivation.
It is an amazing undertaking as all the produce is picked by hand and carried by five-gallon buckets to waiting semi-trailers. The primary crop was jalapeño peppers, but there were other varieties of peppers including serranos, gueritos and habaneros as well as tomatillos.
According to Raúl Rivera, El Oasis Business Manager, the 2020 growing season presented many different opportunities and challenges. Raúl was able to sell to markets in the United States. And even when those markets were no longer available, there were still opportunities to sell within Mexico.
However, later in the growing season, Raúl faced another challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic situation. Many of the agricultural workers in the area left early to go back to their homes in other parts of Mexico, and he had a hard time finding enough workers. Some of the peppers had to be sold at a lower price because they got a bit overripe.
This season, the farm made some much-needed upgrades for the post-harvest processing. This included acquiring a conveyer belt system to assist with washing, sorting, and packing the produce. The farm has its own special logo that is printed on each box.
Another important acquisition was a pre-cooling station that prepares the tractor-trailers after the produce has been packed inside before shipping. As you can imagine, without such a unit the produce would become damaged in the intense heat of the sun. In the past, the farm has had to pay others for this service. Now, the farm will have a cost savings of about $250 per trailer and can charge other farmers that amount for cooling theirs. This becomes a mini-industry.
Raúl summed up the 2020 season by saying that ‘in spite of everything, we can thank God because we were able to sell our entire harvest, not at the prices we wanted, but we did sell all the production.’
A New Season of Growth
The 2021 season is just starting at the El Oasis farm. Please pray that God will continue to direct and bless this important endeavour. And as the seedlings grow to maturity and produce a harvest, pray for the children of El Oasis that they, too, will grow and develop and will be part of the ‘Heavenly Harvest’ when Jesus returns!