Did you know that every one of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Association’s markets has a donation box for the Good Farmer Fund? I admit, I used to walk right by the Information Booth. I rarely need information, since I know the farmers and I’m at the market every week. But since I rarely stop, I don’t get reminded how easy it is to drop a few coins or a buck or two into that Good Farmer Fund. This weekend though I got a quick reminder. As we were shopping at the market, we heard Gretchen Hoyt, of Alm Hill Gardens, talking to another farmer. She said that they had a house fire.
We’ve known Gretchen for years. She was one of the first vendors we knew by name. So when we asked Chris Curtis if anything was being done for Gretchen and Ben, we were thrilled (and not at all surprised) to find out that the NFMA has a separate fund going just for Ben and Gretchen. Just stop by any NFMA market and ask for the Ben and Gretchen fund. The NFMA will match up to $3,000 of the donations.
The fire didn’t destroy the entire home, but there was structural damage. The good folks at Growing Washington have been pitching in whenever they can, but Ben is doing the majority of the work himself (he built the house initially). If you can spare a couple of dollars at the end of your shopping trip, consider making a donation to help them out.
Even though we hope you’ll donate to help out Ben and Gretchen, the need doesn’t end there. The Fund was established by the NFMA to help out farmers during emergencies. They help out when a farm experiences catastrophic flooding, a medical emergency, massive crop loss, or other natural disasters. 100% of what you donate to the Fund goes directly to the farmers. NONE of it is used for administrative costs.
Now we know money is tight for just about everyone and since we’re down to one income these days, we’re saving every dollar we can. But there’s one easy thing I know we can do. While we’re shopping every week, we end up with at least a few coins rattling around at the bottom of our bag. Maybe we bought $2.75 worth of bamboo shoots or $12.45 worth of daikon. Whenever we get coins in change, I’m putting those coins in my back pocket. Then on my way out of the market, I’m going to drop those coins in the donation box. No, it’s not a lot. No, it’s not going to make the difference between a farmer saving his or her farm and not. But if we all did this? Well, then we’d make a difference.
You can also donate to a separate fund for Ben and Gretchen at the Ballard Sunday Market. We don’t have confirmation that you can also donate at other non-NFMA markets, but it sure never hurts to ask. Stop by the information booth at the Wallingford Market, the Georgetown Farmers Market and Flea Market, and the Madrona Market and ask.
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