As our fellow Oregonians return to the areas impacted by wildfires, small farmers across the region are beginning to truly understand how the fires have affected their operations and changed their lives. The impact goes far beyond scorched fields. The wind leading up to the fires was incredibly destructive on its own. Animals that were evacuated are stressed and need extra care and comfort. Some crops are suffering from a lack of sunlight and oxygen due to smoke. Farm employees are unable to work as they cope with their own families’ evacuations and losses. Power outages have affected food storage, and post-fire cleanup of the land and buildings, exhausting but necessary, is taking time away from growing food.
In short, times are really, really tough.
You can help. Our farmers markets connect urban shoppers with our rural communities over the common ground of fresh food. The most impactful, immediate thing we can all do to support these farmers and preserve our small regional farms is to commit to purchasing as much food as possible directly from farmers. Shopping at your local farmers market is one easy and convenient way to do that.
For Pacific Northwest farmers whose livelihood depends on the land, this is a critical moment. Farmers and crops are resilient and strong, and can come back with nurturing and care. The support they receive from us now may be the deciding factor in their future and future livelihoods.
Come to the market. Fill your basket with our region’s bounty. Donate to help Oregon’s small farms rebound. Your support can make all the difference to our hard-working farmers and preserve what makes our region so vibrant and healthy.