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by Joanna Shaw Flamm

While Irene may have left New York City with a no more than few uprooted trees, the real story of this storm has become the flooding and destruction across upstate New York and the rest of New England. Already by Monday there were reports of Newton Farm in the Catskills being evacuated by the National Guard, and the lead story in the New York Times today is about the extensive damage to farms throughout the New York flood plains.

Flooding in the black dirt region of upstate New York. Many farms have been devastated.

From the Times:

“‘Clearly, it’s not good,’ said Darrel J. Aubertine, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets. ‘I’ve been involved in agriculture my entire life, and there have been times when the weather has wreaked havoc on livestock and farms, but I don’t think I have ever seen anything on this scale here in New York.’

“Representatives of farmers’ markets in New York City said that shoppers would feel the effects throughout the fall. ‘There will be farmers they’ve known for years who might not be bringing product,’ said Michael Hurwitz, director of the greenmarket program at GrowNYC, a nonprofit group.”

Reports of the damage have started to filter in from Greenmarket farmers themselves, and for many the news is not good.

Wilklow Orchards, a mainstay at several Brooklyn Greenmarkets reports:

“So we had a lot of damage from Irene. We lost our whole 9 acres of tomatoes, heirlooms and all. Luckily we picked really heavy the day before it hit, so we will have tomatoes his weekend. This will be the end off our heirlooms.”

Much of Rogowski Farms, a pioneer organic farm in the black dirt region of New York and longtime participant in the Greenmarket program, is largely underwater. They report:

“We harvested all the tomatoes that were on the vines so we have crates and crates of them in various stages of ripeness. The ones that are under water will most likely not survive the flood waters.”

Rogowski has added ‘before and after’ photos to their Facebook page.

Rogowski Farm before Hurricane Irene

During the hurricane

The aftermath

Many, many other farms have been heavily impacted. In an effort to support the farms that have helped the NYC Greenmarket program thrive for so many years, GrowNYC is asking for donations. 100% of all donations will directly support Greenmarket farmers impacted by Hurricane Irene–just make sure to mark “Hurricane Relief” in the dedication box.

In a slightly less direct way, GrowNYC is also suggesting that pledging to eat local for the month of September would be a great way to continue to support New York farmers. You can find more information the NY Locavore challenge here.

The chilling thing here is that this story is really just developing now. We won’t have a grasp of the full impact for weeks. But it’s clear that our regional farmers are going to need our support long after the lights are back on. So get out to your Greenmarkets this weekend, buy what you can, and donate.

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4 Responses to Regional Farms Devastated by Flooding: NYC Greenmarkets Seeks Donations

  1. : Oui, exactement, c’est, je pense, une manière de permettre un début d’interaction qualitative en évitant d’exiger trop d’engagement. Et donc en évitant deux obstacles que sont le manque de temps et la timidité à s’exprimer publiquement. @ Vacances et location : Sur le site en question, je dois bien avouer que le taux d’utilisation de ce petit module reste très faible. Mais il est aussi relativement peu visible, et coincé entre plusieurs autres fonctionnalités. C’est pourquoi je suis très tenté par l’idée de pouvoir insérer ce type de feedback dans le corps même des articles. Là, ce serait innovant et on développerait une véritable écriture web. @ Jacques Pyrat : merci

  2. Ryan says:

    We grow a lot of our own veggies and get some prtety huge gluts around Autumn time. We give heaps away, and then use various methods to preserve veggies for Winter. At various times of the year tomatoes and capsicum go in the dehydrator, beetroot and garlic get pickled, zucchini gets chopped or grated and stored in the freezer, oregano and coriander are dried and crumbled into glass jars. All this takes a fair bit of effort though.Over Winter we eat more soups so the dried legumes can come out of the back of the cupboard and mix up with some of the longer storing veggies like pumpkin.The other thing you can do in Winter is go on a bit of a sprout experimentation spree. Trying different seeds and beans gives you a diversity of flavours and nutrients to choose from, and you can throw them in stirfries prtety easily.

  3. Eldi says:

    Ah, I’ve been struggling with this dimemla recently. I generally prefer to buy local grown veggies but when those dry up in the winter I tend to skimp on the veg. I also try to buy organic whenever I can, and I tend to get stuck in this “if it’s not organic I’ll do without” mentality. But this year our income has dropped significantly, and I’ve got some health issues that really require me to eat nutritious, whole foods. I’ve finally had to accept I can’t afford to buy my produce at Whole Foods right now, and I need to not let perfect be the enemy of good when the choice is eat conventional veg or eat no veg. I’ve started buying conventional produce at my local ethnic market (dirt cheap and fresher than my grocery store). Once I let go of my focus on local and organic, I realized I was actually eating better and was taking more pleasure in my food.So while I do still believe local and organic are valuable and hope to return to them when money isn’t so tight, I think sometimes buying out of season, conventional produce is the right choice.

  4. Laci says:

    , “For every mark issued, we rqeeirud the equivalent of a mark’s worth of work done, or goods produced.” The government paid workers in Certificates. Workers spent those Certificates on other goods and services, thus creating more jobs for more people. In this way the German people climbed out of the crushing debt imposed on them by the international bankers.Within two years, the unemployment problem in Germany had been solved, and Germany was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, with no debt, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries controlled by international bankers were still out of work. Within five years, Germany went from the poorest nation in Europe to the richest.Germany even managed to restore foreign trade, despite the international bankers’ denial of foreign credit to Germany, and despite the global boycott. Germany succeeded in this by exchanging equipment and commodities directly with other countries, using a barter system that cut the private bankers out of the picture. Germany flourished, since barter eliminates national debt and trade deficits. Today Venezuela does the same thing today when it trades oil for commodities, plus medical help, and so on.

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