Jan 4, 2019 Update –
We have carefully looked at how we can still farm successfully with less and after reviewing for the 3rd and 4th time all of the uninsured equipment and tools lost, we have come up with a more realistic fundraising amount. Therefore, we have lowered our estimate of the amount of money needed to $120,000 from the original $150k. That means we are 50% of the way towards completing our goal! We are very excited about this because this has occurred in only 4 weeks. We started the fund raising campaign on Dec 2nd and it’s only been a month since then!
You can help us reach our rebuild fundraising goal HERE!
The base of the new barn has been cleared of the debris from the fire. We are removing the old foundation and preparing the site for the new barn. Bids are currently being accepted and reviewed.
Before I provide anymore information, Stew and I would like to state that we are so grateful for the Lexington Co-op board, staff and members. They have raised over $11,000 on our behalf and we cannot express our gratitude nearly enough for all of their help, campaigning, encouragement, and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the depths of our hearts!
Along those lines, there have been a few area farmers who, in the first days after the fire, reached out to us in a way we never, ever expected. Because over 80% of our crops were burned in the fire, we contacted them hoping they had extra crops they could sell us so that we could use them at our distribution sites (Amherst, Buffalo, and Orchard Park). When we went to pick up the crops from Porter Farms and Root Down Farm, they would not let us pay for the crops! Platodale Farm, Promised Land CSA, Rusty Bucket Mushrooms, and Canticle Farms all donated crops to us in those first couple of weeks after the fire to allow us to continue the CSA deliveries to our distribution sites.
If I told you we were amazed, stunned, moved to tears mixed with smiles by the outpouring of support from so many, well…those words would fall short in conveying how we feel inside.
So, to everyone, a big hug! A big thank you! And that just doesn’t seem to be enough.
Now, on to a question that has been raised a few times. Insurance. We had insurance coverage and do still. We were informed that our coverage would cover buildings, equipment and tools. We found out that only the barn and three tractors were covered. The insurance company has agreed to give us $145,000 to replace the barn. We will do just that but with many modifications that we will let you know about as we proceed. We also had coverage for some of the crop we lost. We have received enough insurance money to be able to purchase crops from other area organic growers. This helps us fulfill our 2019 Winter CSA share. Thank goodness!
We will be posting in the next week a list of the equipment that needs to be replaced, the cost of it, and the time frame needed on the farm. All of these items are, unfortunately, uninsured. GoFundMe donations have been critical in helping us pay for the cost of cleaning out scrap metal and removing waste from the burn site. These funds were also how we purchased a Kubota cultivating tractor, a few power tools that we used for demolition/repair and a generator that kept our cooler running before emergency electric service was established.
We have a ways to go yet and have some events planned that we will announce as soon as we finalize a few details. We are excited by the creative ideas people have been submitting and the possibilities these could lead to. So, please, stay tuned. I will provide another update next week.
December 7th, 2018 A Message from Dawn Dybowski, Site Coordinator for Native Offering’s Orchard Park Distribution …
Wednesday evening, Nov 28th 2018, one of our local CSA’s, Native Offerings Farm had a devastating fire. Their beautiful 1900’s barn, 1980’s wash house, storage cooler and storage room, germination room, 6 out of 7 tractors, most of the tools and equipment, and 80% of their winter storage crop were destroyed. Twenty-five years of farming, equipment, and tools, and fifteen years of improvements were lost in under two hours. They are tasked with starting over again.
An out-of-pocket amount of $150,000 in uninsured losses is needed to re-build, purchase equipment and tools, and resume operations. An itemized non-insured list is being compiled and will be posted on the FaceBook site. The monies are needed now so that Stew and Deb can resume operations by late Winter 2019 and be ready for the 2019 growing season. If you want to help Deb and Stew in ways additional to the monies requested and you have skills that can help them re-build, please contact: Deb@NativeOfferings.com.
On the upside, insurance will help to rebuild the barn and replace three of the tractors. It will also provide funds to purchase lost crops so that the farm share program may continue uninterrupted.
Updates will be provided on the Native Offerings FaceBook page.
As community members, we are taking the steps to help Stew and Deb re-build and continue their operations without pause. We love what they have done for not only us as share holders, but as the initiators and trainers of many other CSA Owners in WNY.
Please, in whatever manner or amount, contribute to help them rebuild. You may donate any amount you wish. You may also donate a specific amount based on the forthcoming list to be published. Any amount is much appreciated.
A Go FUndME account has been set up for Native Offerings Farm and you can provide them with financial assistance to rebuild HERE.
( Please note: When you donate through the GoFundMe link, after you input the donation to Native Offerings, it specifies that there’s 0% fees for their platform. The default tip is 15% but you can change that. If you click the arrow, to the right of the 15%, you get a drop down window. Choose “other”. Here you can input any amount, including $0. )
Contact me directly at email@example.com for a flyer that you can post to notify others about how they can help.
If you have skills or could donate labor contact Deb@nativeofferings.com directly.
Get involved with a food centered benefit for the farm being planned with the help of local chefs. Timeline: early March. Please contact Tglau25@hotmail.com about helping with that and things like: alcohol donations, basket raffle donations, and any items that could be used for a silent auction.
Send them an encouraging word or prayer, anything helps.
As shareholders, there are many of us who sincerely want to help rebuild the farm and assist Stew and Deb to not only resume operations ASAP, but to make positive and beneficial changes that will take them well into the future. Stew and Deb have supported us for two decades, and it’s now time for us to step up and support them in their time of need.
Thank you, sincerely,
Dawn, Sherry, Brad and Rosemarie.