Tonight, the Accidental Locavore actually got this week’s farm box delivered. We had stopped by the farm earlier, but Farmer Paul said nothing was ready yet. So he showed up on the doorstep with his son, one holding a small box of jewel-like cherry tomatoes, the other lugging a huge box with mammoth heirloom tomatoes, a big round watermelon and one of the biggest, dark shiny eggplants I’ve ever seen. No wonder they won 12 blue ribbons, 11 seconds, 3 thirds and grand champion for vegetables at last week’s Dutchess County Fair!
That was the good news.
As a result of Hurricane Irene, their lands were flooded, ruining most of their crops and putting their livelihood at risk. This was the year that Paul really put heart and soul into making the farm a growing (pardon the pun) concern. He and his family decided to devote themselves to proving that they could make farming amazing and sustainable (not to mention delicious) vegetables profitable. We had long talks at the farm, while admiring the beauty of an okra blossom, about how difficult farming is. How you can work and work at it, but in the end, it’s all in the hands of Mother Nature. And last week she was not in a charitable mood.
So what to do? No matter where you live, support your local farmers. If you live in or around any of the areas affected by Irene, buy as much local produce as you can. Grow NYC, Just Food, and Catskill Mountain Relief are establishing relief funds; please contribute. On September 25th, many local restaurants including ilili in Manhattan, will participate in a night out to support farmers affected by the hurricane; go eat. Pass this blog around to everyone you know, share on Facebook and Twitter. And if you want to support my farmer, just go to Eataly and buy a box of cherry tomatoes. They’re the jewel-like ones and they taste as good as they look. Thank you.