ARTfarm Hurricane Maria Recovery

$23,732 of $44,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 6 months
The ARTfarm on St. Croix, USVI experienced heavy damage to farm structures from Hurricane Maria. Despite four days of nearly 24 hour a day preparation on the farm and the adjoining farmstay vacation rental business, the CAT 5 hit the farm hard on September 19, 2017. We lost our seedling house, the ARTbarn gallery/studio, 10% of our breeding sheep, the chicken tractors, and half our fruit trees. We incurred damage to roof structures of toolsheds and to much of our livestock fencing. Utility power throughout the US Virgin Islands experienced catastrophic damage and grid power at the farm was gone for 5 months. For more details, please watch the three minute video we created to document our experience and goals for this fundraiser. The breakdown is listed below.

We originally asked for $23,000 in recovery funds on this page from friends and family and the community, to help us rebuild, assuming that FEMA, SBA and USDA disaster assistance programs would help where applicable. What we have learned after painstakingly applying to all these disaster aid programs is that agricultural businesses will categorically be denied any FEMA or SBA assistance as a matter of policy; and the USDA cannot assist with any structures on a farm. This leaves us with (apart from a lot of anger and frustration) smaller programs from USDA to assist with brush removal, fruit trees, fencing and livestock. So far we have received $454 in disaster relief from the USDA for our $1300 in livestock losses. 

Family and friends have asked how they can help. Funds are best so we can purchase local and appropriate materials, tools and labor and keep the money in our island economy. We decided to continue to supply the community with fresh food and delay our recovery efforts until the spring 2018. We opened for the season as of November 11th, 2017 and are winding down as of May 2018. Here are our estimates on what recovery of these key assets will cost us:

$20K - replace seedling house
$2K - replace fruit trees lost
$14K - replace the ARTbarn studio/gallery space
$2K - labor to repair pasture fencing
$6K - repairs to toolshed roof supports and other structures

We have already started recovery efforts so funding ASAP will help us to continue. Check out our donor levels. We are working on artworks both as therapy and to thank our generous supporters. Lots of love from the ARTfarm family!
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It's the end of April, 2018. After six months of seeding, transplanting, prepping, mulching, composting, watering, harvesting, selling, rinse, repeat - we are winding down the ARTfarm growing season for this year and starting to focus on livestock fencing, farm structure and pond repair, and much needed rest after this unusually exhausting year of hurricanes. We're really grateful that people have continued to support our cause. Check out our donation reward levels – we are working in the studio on the monoprint artworks to send our supporters! Remember, OFFLINE donations go 10% further but still count toward our fundraising goals and are posted to this campaign!
Luca removing debris from the pond...
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A bit overdue, but we have updated our ARTfarm GoFundMe page to reflect the lack of federal disaster assistance from FEMA, SBA and USDA for the damage the farm incurred. Our goal for fundraising was previously $23k and now we are looking at $44k to make the needed repairs to the farm so that we can withstand more storms and continue to provide food and art to the community. We are frankly pretty overextended and burned out after an extremely busy growing season and only have until July 2018 before the hurricane season gets going again in the Caribbean. Please donate if you can to help us continue our sustainable farming practices and continue to make the farm more resilient against future major storms. GoFundMe accepts credit cards, but your money will go about 10% further if you donate directly via check, money order, cash or bank transfer. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
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Well, 43 Support Team emails later we are still working on a fix. It looks like, due to GoFundMe's internal issues, we have not been able to accept any donations for the last week. Very frustrating! They swear they will have this resolved today. We are still without electricity at the farm and house so getting online to troubleshoot this is something we can only do for a limited number of minutes per day. Hoping they will finally fix this issue before we have to ask everyone for a check. I will inquire about reversing the charges for anyone who would prefer to write us a check directly to help us rebuild. This is ridiculous, and they take a percentage of your donation! Trying to be patient.
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Greetings ARTfarm friends and donors. We are hearing now from GoFundMe customer support that they have a computer glitch that does not allow their customers to withdraw funds from US territories, including the US Virgin Islands. I'm floored. They offered us a fix which did not work. GoFundMe is indicating that they may refund your donation to our campaign. We are awaiting a response from their support team. If your donation is refunded, you can mail a check directly to us. So frustrating!! The address is ARTfarm LLC, PO Box 895, Christiansted VI 00821. You can make a check out directly to the farm. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'm furious. Thank you for your support.
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$23,732 of $44,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 6 months
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Melissa Humbarger
29 days ago
1 month ago
John & Nancy Ogden
1 month ago (Offline Donation)
Christina McPherson & Shawn Samuel
1 month ago (Offline Donation)
1 month ago
Michelle Moore
3 months ago (Offline Donation)
Thomas Geiger
4 months ago
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5 months ago (Offline Donation)
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