Profile of 2012 Grantee: Vargas Farms


Jicama, chayote, and passion fruit are more likely to be found in the exotic foods isle than the farmers market in North Carolina, but Felix Vargas will plant the traditional Latin American crops on the 75-acre, Cleveland County farm where he and his wife raise strawberries, blueberries, and wholesale vegetables. He will also process some of the fruit into sugar-free jam for diabetic customers.

Vargas was raised on a farm in central Mexico, and worked as a crew boss for migrant farmworkers in North Carolina before becoming a farmer.