We are doing the last big push for the Ottmers this week and then closing the page down on Friday. Life is becoming more normal again although Levi still has more rehab ahead of him. And of course, the medical bills are starting to roll in. Life flight isn't cheap and neither is a stay at the hospital.
You've all been so generous and Kevin and Becky and Levi are very grateful. Let's see how close we can get to our goal by Friday. Please help spread the word-we only need 71 donations of $20.00 or 142 donations of $10.00.
Got a report from Becky this morning:
Levi is doing what he can on the farm-washing and packing produce. He should be at Sunset Valley tomorrow with his folks. Of course, he's a little frustrated with the healing process (boy, can I understand that feeling) as he wanted to haul hay this summer but he's in good spirits all things considered.
We are very close to reaching our goal-thanks so much folks. Please keep spreading the word.
Got a lovely email from Becky this morning. Here's what she had to say.
"Levi is at home now and resting. He will be starting to work on his speech and physical therapy next week. We're at just happy to have him home. God Bless!"
Kevin and Becky and Heather and Levi are so grateful for your continuing support. Thanks again for all your kindness and generosity.
Becky and Kevin Ottmers were at Sunset Valley today and we had a chance to chat. First and foremost, they are SO grateful to y'all for helping them out. They're exhausted but strong.
Levi is still in the hospital but improving. He and a passenger were driving past a construction site on a narrow country road when a car pulled out directly in front of him. Levi swerved to miss the car and over corrected. He crashed into a bulldozer. The trooper said that if the boys hadn't been wearing seatbelts...No, don't even want to think about that possibility.
Please keep help spreading the word, folks. They need us right now.
Kevin left a message this afternoon. Levi is still in the hospital but improving. His arm surgery was day but he also suffered a serious head injury. Kevin, of course, sounded absolutely exhausted but all he said was 'It's been a long couple of days." If there's anyone tougher than a Texas farmer, I'd like to meet them.
The Ottmers deeply appreciate all of you.
They will be at Sunset Valley tomorrow with what they've been able to harvest. Let's keep the support coming, folks.
I got an email update from Cypress of Engel farms this morning with some good news:
update is that Levi is awake and well, but has a badly broken arm. Looks like he is going to be just fine... But big medical bills from the life flight and hospital visit are a concern.
However, as she says, the medical bills are going to be astronomical so I went ahead and changed the amount we need to raise until I hear more from the Ottmers themselves. Let's keep spreading the word, folks!
This is what community really is about!
Y'all are the very best ever. The kindness and generosity you are extending to the Ottmers is restoring my faith in humankind.
I have not received an update on Levi yet and I certainly don't want to bug Kevin or Becky at this time. I will post as soon as I get new information.
Here's a picture of Becky and Kevin in the field. It's not easy being a veggie farmer (or any other kind of alternative farmer for that matter). You don't get rich growing tomatoes and squash, that's for sure which is why your wonderful support is so important.
Wow! I am stunned and humbled by your support. I know we've reached the goal but I am not going to close the page yet because of the accident last night. I suspect that Kevin and Becky and Levi will need more after the accident and I'd like to keep it going for them.
I received this message in my email just a few minutes ago: Dear all,
Yesterday afternoon the Ottmers son Levi, was in a severe accident. He and the passenger were life flighted to Brackenridge in Austin. We got word this morning that the passenger was released last nite and Levi is in stable condition. He was sedated and has not yet awoken, but all tests so far come back clear except for a broken arm. Please pray for his recovery and the Ottmer family.
On the night of May 9th a huge storm roared through the Hill country, bringing with it high winds and golf ball-sized hail. Trees were stripped of their bark and leaves. The Ottmers Family Farm in Stonewall Texas was devastated. All of their carefully planted spring vegetables-tomatoes squash, cucumbers, and lettuce- were destroyed. Becky and Kevin Ottmers also lost 80% of their fig crop. The walls and roof of the greenhouse were battered. Only a few cucumbers were left. All of the work and time and money that the Ottmers family had invested were gone in one night. The photos tell the story:
Kevin Ottmers began his farming career on a heritage breeder turkey operation in 1994 but the work was seasonal and he wanted to farm all year long. He transitioned to growing sustainable organic vegetables in 1994 and began selling at Central Texas farmer's markets in 1996. Kevin and Becky are committed to raising healthy sustainable food with their two children but this storm has been a serious setback. In Kevin's own words "The week following the hail storm we didn't sleep very well. I was considering getting a job. I love farming but sometimes...."
Like most small sustainable farmers, the Ottmers do not qualify to crop insurance because they grow a diverse array of crops. And like most small sustainable farmers, the Ottmers are fiercely independent. Other local farmers have been trying to help them by donating starter plants and donating what funds they could but the Ottmers need a little more help to make it until the next batch of vegetables are ripe. As a small farmer, I know how difficult a setback like this can be. Becky and Kevin have struggled for over a month and now it's time to put our money where our mouths are-literally. They're not asking for much and the Austin food community REALLY needs to rally around them. Please help as much as you can. Every little bit helps!
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