Operation Farm Rescue
Record-breaking rainfall in Texas has had a devastating impact on communities and agriculture. Over the weekend, I received the following note from a friend, chef Rene Ortiz, with a call to action to help Urban Roots recover from flooding. An Austin-based non-profit, Urban Roots transforms the lives of young people through food and farming, offering paid internships to students and donating nearly half of the harvest from their 3.5 acre farm to local food pantries. On Memorial Day, Boggy Creek flooded their farm, and they need volunteers and donations to get back on track for the summer.
TO DONATE, CLICK HERE.
Simply put, we need your help. On Memorial Day, Boggy Creek spilled out of its banks and flooded our east Austin farm. In under three hours, the entire farm was under water with our lower fields submerged eight feet. I arrived just in time to save our tractor from the rising floodwaters. The creek receded the following day and we quickly put out a call for volunteers to help us salvage the crops.
Over the last few days, more than fifty selfless volunteers and youth harvested over 2,700 pounds of vegetables so we could keep our donation commitments to local soup kitchens and food pantries, and have enough for our CSA members. However, the significant crop damage, estimated at $15,000 in lost revenue, means we won’t have enough produce to sell at Farmer’s Markets to meet our earned revenue goals for the rest of the season.
As a non-profit, we rely on both donations AND earned revenue from produce sales at farmers markets to pay for critical Urban Roots functions like stipends for our youth, farm rent, farm tools & supplies.
We are all so saddened by the loss and destruction caused by the recent flooding across Texas. All in all, we feel incredibly fortunate, as Urban Roots’ losses could have been much, much worse. The farm will recover. However, this is the most challenging farming season we have ever experienced and we are asking our supporters and friends to please consider making a donation to help us make up for the $15,000 loss in produce sales.
With your help, we will finish the season strong, and will continue to do what we do best – using food and farming to transform the lives of young people, and inspiring, engaging, and nourishing our community.
Thank you so much,
Max Elliott, LMSW