Photos courtesy of CAFF

 

Recent fires in several nearby agricultural areas are causing extensive damage to small family farms and vineyards. Some farmers are losing everything, including their homes, and others have not been able to access their property to determine the extent of the damage. There are plenty of ways to help, not the least of which is to buy local goods.

In our last newsletter, we wrote about Bounty of the County, a celebration of Solano agriculture, chefs, and wine. Because of the wildfires, Bounty of the County cooking demonstrations, presentations, and dining promotions will be delayed by a week (starting September 1), while the event turns its focus toward raising funds for farmers and growers who have lost property, crops, and animals. All donations received through Sustainable Solano through the end of September will go to help the county’s farmers, ranchers, and wine growers. To donate, send a check payable to Sustainable Solano to: Sustainable Solano, P.O. Box 1215, Benicia, CA 94510.  Find more information: here

Help CAFF Support Farms throughout California

Also in light of the wildfires, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is relaunching their California Family Farmer Emergency Fund, which provides direct support to agricultural community members impacted by disaster, especially farmers who fall through the cracks of traditional safety nets, yet continue to dedicate themselves to keeping people in California fed.

An example is farmers Cristóbal, Vero, Cole, and Gaby at Brisa de Año farm near Pescadero, who fought tirelessly to save their farm as firefighters prioritized residential areas instead. They built fire breaks with their tractors as the inferno melted greenhouses, and they scrambled to assemble makeshift irrigation for crops after fire destroyed their system. For three straight days they extinguished flames with buckets filled from a nearby creek. When finally the smoke cleared, the only color that remained in that landscape were the fields they managed to save.

CAFF and The Farmers Guild is a California-based nonprofit founded in 1978 that builds sustainable food and farming systems. Their efforts are through local and statewide policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs with a goal of creating a more resilient and just food system. Donate to the emergency fund: here