Starting a business is always guaranteed to demand blood, sweat, and tears. But when it comes to farming, the risk is even more difficult to weigh with all the natural forces to contend with. Between the threats of drought and torrential rain and hail (or freak snow storms!), staggered plantings and reinforced structures aren’t always enough.
Right now, Arizona is only 1/3 of the way through its “water year”, yet it’s already the 4th wettest year on record. While last week’s snowfall was a beautiful anomaly, it’s been troublesome for many of our beloved Arizona farmers and ranchers.
Last weekend, many markets were closed, which means that those vendors unexpectedly missed a full week of income.
On top of this missed market opportunity, farmers all across the state have been dealing with flooded fields and damaged infrastructure. Parks that typically host Farmers Markets have months of repair work ahead, which means many markets have been put on hold. Even chefs were snowed-out of their kitchens for several days and had delay their restaurant operations.
Though the damage is done, there are two easy ways that we can support our food community that works so hard to grow the food we love to eat:
1. Shop, shop, shop!
Show up at the farmers market and buy whatever you can, even if the selection isn’t as diverse or abundant as you’ve come to expect. Dare to try something new, and maybe ask for a recipe if you need! Pick up your CSA box, and know that your subscription is a pledge for the longevity of the farm. Keep in touch with your farmers on social media to see if they have another way to purchase produce in the coming weeks.
2. Donate to their crowdfunding campaigns.
Sometimes, cash is what is needed most to help our farmers get what they need to resurrect their years of infrastructure and soil-building. Read more about the families struck hardest and show your support however is best for you. Below is one family in Northern Arizona that was hit especially hard:
Cottonwood Eco-Farm and Learning Center
On February 15, Ryan and his family woke up to 4 feet of water covering their entire farm, and home! This damage is going to take a lot of work to rebuild, and any help would be make a big difference. Learn more.
“We ask that you you help us in any way possible and appreciate the community’s help in getting through this difficult time.” -Ryan Schumacher
We’ve got to weather these storms, together. If you know of any other farms seeking assistance, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-956-0909 and we can add them to this post.