Hurricane Help 4 Ridge 2 Reef Farm

$5,680 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 59 people in 17 months
***URGENT REQUEST***With so many disasters happening in the world right now, I sometimes feel overwhelmed at how I can support. Sure, I can donate to a relief agency, but I wonder how much of my support actually makes it to the families in need. Luckily, my long-time friends Nate and Shelli Brin-Olive, with the Ridge to Reef Farm in St. Croix, Virgin Islands have given me a way to directly help their community and those so affected by the recent devastating Hurricane Irma & Maria.

My friends survived Hurricane Irma with only minor damage, yet as they were putting their energy towards helping their neighbors on St. Thomas and St.John who did not fare as well, they received a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.  They are now currently emerging from the debris and are now in equal need of support in order to salvage their crops and in order to help distribute them amongst their immediate neighbors. 

Ridge to Reef Farm provides local, certified organic produce on St. Croix its community. http://www.ridge2reef.org/ They are a pillar in the community providing sustainable living and permaculture education, food advocacy, and healthy eating options for local residents. The farm runs a farm-to-school hub that moves fresh crops from local farmers into the territory's public school lunch program across the islands.

The farm has been utilizing their shipping resources and other means like National Guard helicopters to move fresh crops and crucial supplies across the sea to their devastated sister islands This is crucial as residents have been given MREs as relief food and many have exhausted food stores while the ports remain mostly closed. R2R has donated cases of produce already to My Brothers Workshop, a soup kitchen in St.Thomas now serving 300-500 meals a day.  Now, they need support to keep the crops alive to help feed their immediate neighbors, as storms have taken a dramatic toll on their infrastructure (their water storage tanks are now gone).  Communications are still spotty, and although no one was injured, damage is still being assessed. 

Residents in the Virgin Islands are in desperate need of food, water, power, and shelter!

Several aid agencies have been providing food and water, but apparently, most groups are out of heavy- duty tarps, tools, and gas cans, which can not be easily purchased in the Islands. Many homes are destroyed and rain is common. They need shelter ASAP.  Additionally, they need tools to help remove the debris and salvage the crops in order to continue to help feed local residents.

Nate says, "We have three response stages: 1) immediate aid with food, shelter, and supplies, 2) intermediate food provision from farms and other sources, like canned food. and 3) Then, we want to plant many trees in nursery to begin long term regenerative process as they lost most trees on both islands. Later on, months away, we want to invite people down to propagate and plant trees in something of an applied releif permaculture strategy."

Ridge to Reef farm has been donating farm crops and collecting avocado seeds from their destroyed avocado tree to take to St. Thomas and St. John later as future food bearing plants where the majority of trees were lost. Now with a direct hit from Maria, they may need to focus support on their immediate neighbors on St. Croix.  http://www.ridge2reef.org/farmblog/farm-update-post-maria

Supplies are being purchased today with funds raised so far and delivered to St. Pete Air in Florida, who will be taking supplies to St. Croix and the farm by private jet on Monday.  Funds raised in the next few weeks will be used to purchase more of the requested supplies, shipped to Florida,  and then transported via barge to St. Croix every Wednesday.  If the St. Croix post office is operational, supplies may be mailed directly to them as well.  They have requested the following items:
Large, Heavy Duty Tarps 40x60
Gas chainsaw
Gas Weedwacker
Rakes, all kinds
Pick axes, all types
Empty Diesel & Gas containers for transporting from gas station
Clippers, long and short, all kinds
Certified Organic seeds for any immediate sprouts
Buckets, all sizes
Harvest bins
Water gallons
Water proof Plastic containers of all sizes, big ones needed.
Car cables
wheel barrows

If you prefer, you can mail supplies directly to:
St. Pete Air/VI Hurricane Relief
ATTN: Ridge to Reef Farm
107 8th Ave SE
St. Petersburg, FL

Will you join me in helping our Permaculture and Sustainable Agriculture Leaders in the Virgin Islands support other locals?  Thank you so much for your support!  Alone, I can add a few more crucial drops in the bucket of support. Together, we can fill that bucket to overflowing and help those in desperate need.

Thank you so much!

*Allison Avalon is a Permaculture Designer and Environmental Activist originally from Georgia and North Carolina, who has been friends with Nate Olive since they met in the Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) club in College at UGA back in 1997.  They have both served on the Board of The Earthskills Rendezous, the longest running Primitive Skills Gathering in North America.
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Here are few shots of Jennifer Lockwood and St. Pete Air gathering supplies for the plane to St. Croix. I'm trying to add more photos, so you can see how much your support is helping! It's amazing to be able to bypass the bureaucracy and get straight into the hands of those in need. Thank you to all those involved!
Needed supplies getting loaded on jet
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Another plane of supplies made it to Nate and the crew at Ridge to Reef Farm on Monday! 3 large 60x40 tarps, chainsaw supplies, tools, and basic needs all made it. It feels so good knowing these supplies are bypassing the bureaucratic roadblocks that so many are facing right now and straight into the hands of those who need it. Internet has been spotty, so I only have a few more pictures to add right now. Several of their structures stood with only minor damage; thank goodness. It's still a very long road to provide any local, organic food for the community. We are getting closer to the original goal of $5000. Please share and thank you so much for your support.
this was their water storage container..
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Thank you again everyone for your generous support thus far. I finally received the first photos of damage to Ridge to Reef Farm after Hurricane Maria.
We got $2500 worth of supplies down to the farm on 2 private jet trips out of Florida! Future shipments will be shipped via barge. Farm crew says we were a godsend. The road to recovery will be long, so please share amongst your friends.
Here is the farm's latest blog post:
After Maria...
Before Maria...
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Thank you so much everyone for your generous support so far! We are half way to our original goal in only 3 days! The first load of waterproof containers, gas cans, and water jugs went out to Florida today. It joins a variety of tools, tarps and chainsaws purchased in FL and gets flown down via St. Pete Air to St. Croix and Ridge to Reef Farm on Monday morning. For full transparency, I have been using my personal account to purchase supplies thus far, and once gofundme releases the funds, I will repay myself for receipts only. I will keep records of all transactions, in case anyone is curious of what exactly has been sent. I want you all to know that 100% of funds received go towards helping our friends in St. Croix affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria. I am not collecting a service fee. Thank you for sharing this campaign with your networks!
These items go out Monday on the plane.
Gas cans are sold out in Fl, so shipped!
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$5,680 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 59 people in 17 months
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