It has been amazing to witness our Front Range community come together to support each other over the extraordinary events of the last few days. While MM Local and our employees have emerged in good shape, a number of our Farming Partners suffered significant losses from the floodwaters in Boulder county. Bonavida Growers and Oxford Gardens in Niwot both lost significant crops – and years of carefully cultivated topsoil as a result of the floods.
Ollin Farms, particularly hard hit by the flood (see photos above), will be hosting a number of volunteer days to help rebuild their farm, so stay tuned for more ways in which you can help on their Facebook page.
For many more farmers, as for us, the floods and heavy rainfall we’ve experienced since last Thursday have turned our traditional heavy September harvest on its head. Heavy rain and soaked fields can cause crops to turn or leave fields impassable. Crop delays, unexpected surpluses and losses will have as-yet unknown impacts on how the season ends for all of us who depend on local agriculture for our livelihoods.
As a result of the flooding so far, we have taken in tons of peaches (around 10 tons, in fact), for which farmers had lost markets as a result of flooding. Many of our tomato and cabbage crops are delayed and may see losses due to flooding. And yet, in the face of so much uncertainty we find ourselves reassured by two things: the incredible optimism and perseverance of those hit harder than us, and the support of the community during such a challenging time.
This galvanizes us – it is reassurance that a local model for food is a great model for food because it can bring our community closer. If you are looking to support local farmers during these trying times, get out to farmer’s markets this week. Drive out to farm stands. Volunteer to help those that need it. Eat local, and you will help our community recover.
One of our farmers, a dear friend and longtime student of Zen Buddhism, lost a huge amount of crops in the flood. Reflecting, he summed it up with an old Zen saying: “When we are wet, we are wet Buddhas. When we are dry, we are dry Buddhas.”
Wet or dry, we are in this together. Thank you for your ongoing support of our local agricultural community. We are all very grateful.