Land, Liberty, and Solar Power

Cooperative cofounder and worker-owner
Ramón Barba Torres

In 2017, four farmworkers from northwest Washington founded a worker-owned cooperative—Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad (Land and Liberty Cooperative). Their mission was to use their skills as farm workers for the creation of a working farm that they operated collectively and that was able to economically sustain their families.

The overall vision was for the co-op to work with Community to Community Development, a farmworker and food justice advocacy organization based in Bellingham, and to help build a food system that no longer relies on the exploitation of people, animals, and ecosystems. Three years and 65 acres later, Spark Northwest provided a $10,000 capacity grant to support their work on sustainability by creating a community energy plan.

With some thoughtful planning and coordination, Spark Northwest and C2C’s fiscal sponsor, Institute for Washington’s Future, successfully submitted applications to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program and Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program to install solar panels that will power the irrigation pumps and barn facilities used to grow delicious, organic berries and vegetables!

“This investment is crucial as Tierra y Libertad navigates risk as a start-up. More important is the impact the installation of solar power has as a model for small, sustainable farm practices, as C2C and Tierra y Libertad contribute to a decentralized, non-extractive regional food economy. This project helps to establish Tierra y Libertad as environmental stewards and community stakeholders in local decision-making to protect land and water. ” -Sean Hopps, C2C

At Spark Northwest, we support shifting wealth and power to marginalized communities. A just transition away from fossil fuels means helping farmers like Cooperative Tierra y Libertad access the benefits of clean energy. If you would like to find out how you can support this incredible cooperative, visit

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