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Meet Aaron Silva (left to right), his dad Stan, and brother Ben. Together, they represent two generations of a four-generation sweetpotato family. Their great and great-great grandparents emigrated to the San Joaquin Valley from the Azores in the early 1900s and, as Aaron tells it, “soon realized the fertile, sandy soils were perfect for sweetpotatoes.” Today, under the name Doreva Produce, they farm roughly 1,100 acres of sweetpotatoes throughout Merced County, including 700 acres organically.

Doreva also farms almonds, peaches—and solar energy. A field of panels just beyond the barn captures energy that both supports their facility and helps supply the local power company when Doreva isn’t using it. “What better way to contribute to a cleaner, greener environment and utilize a sustainable, renewable energy than to harness natural sunlight and create a solar farm?” Aaron explains that the Silva family considers themselves stewards of the land, just borrowing it for a relatively short period of time and doing their best to leave it in good shape for, and to inspire, future generations.

Those generations include Aaron’s three children and Ben’s four. “We hope they’ll preserve, conserve, and improve, to continue in our footsteps.”

In addition to his wife and kids, Aaron’s household includes four dogs, four cats, a pony, a goat, a pig, and a green iguana. You read that right—a green iguana! When he’s not working, Aaron enjoys CrossFit and Spartan Racing with his two oldest.

With an impressively long past and an admirably long vision for the future, we think Aaron is one great grower. Don’t you?