Farmers are tough, said Vinny DAttolico of DAttolico Farm in Pine Island, post Irene. We take beatings and we dont ask for help, because if theres a good year, were not standing on the corner passing it out, either. This time were asking for help. September and October, thats when we start to break even and make money on a good year. That money pays for the seed order for next year. I know of a bunch of farmers who are done. Thats it. Finished.
So far theyve seen less than their fair share of the help they asked for from the government. Most farmers spit at the idea of the low-interest loans on offer. When, pray tell, would that loan be repaid?
But help did come, in one unexpected way after another. When Jeff and Adina Bialas, of J&A Farm in Goshen, had little to give to their CSA members, their neighbors at the Corn Shak pitched in six ears of corn per CSA member, and some extra for Adina to make corn bread.
All hands came on deck to make T-shirts, book performances, solicit auction items, and set up for the Warwick Valley Farm Aid fundraiser. The goal was to raise $25,000, to be split equally amongst Town of Warwick farmers
who applied. The whole town turned out that Saturday, raising $60,000. And a sign in a local deli read: Flood damage? No house? No job? No food? Come on in and have an egg on a roll.