Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.
Greenmarket Responds to Damage Caused by Tropical Storm Irene
As the flood waters begin to recede from the fields upstate, we will learn about the full extent of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene in the days and weeks to come. The Black Dirt region is still flooded, Sullivan County and Ulster County have seen significant damage, and there are parts of Greene County that no longer exist. We estimate that 80% of Greenmarket farmers have been impacted, with about 10% reporting severe loss80-100% of their products.
This couldnt have happened at a worse time of year as you know, September is when our farmers make the money they need to sustain their farm businesses. It is too late in the season to re-plant, and in addition to the great summer harvest that typically arrives in September, these farmers have lost their winter storage crops as wellbeets, onions and squashthe products that sustain year-round sales.
We are working closely with the State and federal government to secure funding for damaged areas, our senators and Governor Cuomo are advocating on behalf of the agricultural sector to the federal government, and we are encouraging lenders and insurance programs to consider the impact of the storm and what they can do to help.
Markets were open at 5 a.m. the day after the storm, and we are encouraging residents to support regional farmers first and foremost by shopping. Some of the farmers you have forged strong relationships with over the years may not be back at the markets this season due to the aftermath of the storm, but we will do everything we can to ensure that they return to market in the spring of 2012. We have set up a donation page on the GrowNYC website, which you can find at www.grownyc.org/blog. We plan to have a message board up on our website by this weekend, where those seeking assistance (volunteer help, or in-kind donations) and those who are ready to volunteer can be put in touch. In the mean time, we dont anticipate that our markets will be impacted in terms of the quality or the variety of products you have come to expectthe farmers who did not suffer serious damage have a stunning array of produce for sale from the full summer harvest. If you have any questions, please reach out to our office: 212-788-7476.
Greenmarket farmers are a resilient and strong group of individuals, who have weathered many storms prior to this one. Thank you for your commitment to regional agriculture and to all that you bring to the local food community, upstate and down.
Greenmarket is a program of GrowNYC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Greenmarket's mission is to promote regional agriculture and ensure a continuing supply of fresh local produce for New Yorkers. To learn more visit www.grownyc.org.