The Future of Our Upstate Farms, Post-Irene

Farmers try to repair severe losses after storm.
Farmers try to repair severe losses after storm. Photo: NY1

Sure, Johnny Iuzzini’s weekend home was flooded, this poor guy’s restaurant was severely damaged, and Ditch Plains had to hold off on lobster plates for a few days, but some of the saddest stories of Irene’s damage involve our upstate farms. Crops were destroyed, livestock was hurt, equipment was ruined, and barns were destroyed. “This appears to be one of the worst weather disasters for farmers in many years,” said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau. There are personal stories, like that of veteran farmer Richard Ball, who estimates a loss of over $100,000; distraught Facebook status updates about semi-permanent CSA cancellations; and a few options for volunteering (but disturbingly, not too many … ). If anybody has farm-related donation suggestions or fund-raising events, please let us know.