There are moments - usually on steely cold and gray January days - when I fantasize about moving back to my native California.Then I start to think about the community I live in and I how incredibly lucky I am to be living in this small town where people know and care about one another. I was reminded of that last Saturday when so many of you stopped by the farmers' market tent to express your concern for our farmers devastated by Irene.

As you know, Morgiewicz was hit hard. So was Taliaferro Farms, which saw 17 acres of farmland basically get washed away and flow into the Walkill River. Their CSA has been suspended.  You may recall that Taliaferro Farms had already missed our opening day market because they did not have enough greens to sell due to the Draconian weather patterns of last spring. To add insult to injury, the rain kept coming this week. And hard. Plus, Morgiewicz was at a market this week in the city and a driver rammed into their truck rendering it inoperable. After a 14-hour day working in the rain they had to be towed back to Goshen. "I've never seen it this bad," says Sophie Morgiewicz. "Now we're just praying for sun so that we can start again. I don't know what we'll do if we get an early frost." Yesterday she and her family and scores of other Hudson Valley farmers attended a meeting to see about getting some help from the government. "They said they might be able to help but we have to wait. There's no money right now." But we can't wait, how am I going to pay for insurance? How am I going to pay the bills?"
  Despite all this weighing on her mind, Sophie was at her local fire station this week cooking breakfasts and lunches for the local volunteer firefighters who have been working overtime the last couple of weeks since Irene.

The Hastings Farmers Market Committee is trying to raise money for these farmers. We will have a donation box at the market for the next couple of weeks, but if you would like to mail a check, please send it to Hastings Farmers Market  PO Box 114 Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706. Please write it out to Hastings Farmers Market and write "Irene relief fund' on the "memo" line.

If you'd like to help a broader cross-section of farmers, here are some other opportunities to do so:

Greenmarket's Hurricane Irene Relief Fund - GrowNYC has set up a donation page to help farmers.

Just Food - Collecting donations to aid CSA farmers in their rebuilding efforts.

Hudson Valley Food Network Irene Farm Relief - Forums, news, updates and information on where help is needed as well as upcoming benefit events. Pure Catskills: How to help Catskill Region Farmers - Information and resources on affected farms in the Catskills

Watershed Post Resources Page - A comprehensive list of Hurricane Irene Catskills recovery resources and info.

Also, many NYC restaurants are setting aside a percentage of proceeds on Sept. 25th to farmers devastated by Irene. Get details of participating restaurants at

Thank you in advance for your generosity... See you at the market! And, hope to see you at the Take me to the River Music Festival after the market (another reason I could never leave this town!)