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ARTfarm Hurricane Maria Recovery

$23,582 of $44,000 goal

Raised by 36 people in 5 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 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. 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 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. Thank you so much from the ARTfarm family!
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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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Thanks to friends and volunteers and Luca’s hard work, we have almost finished rebuilding our veggie wash station and are researching ways to power it off the grid. We have been starting lots of plants as is typical at the start of the growing season, but unfortunately they are not growing with the usual vigor so we will have to erect a temporary shade area until we can begin to rebuild our seedling house. Fortunately we have been seeing a steady increase in the number of customers returning to the stand over the last three farmstands, so we are hoping people will continue to spread the word that we are open on Saturday mornings! It’s pretty exhausting juggling repairs, volunteers, and the start of the season but we are doing our best!
Early morning on the farm.
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$23,582 of $44,000 goal

Raised by 36 people in 5 months
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JO
$500
John & Nancy Ogden
28 days ago (Offline Donation)
CS
$1,000
Christina McPherson & Shawn Samuel
28 days ago (Offline Donation)
$150
Anonymous
28 days ago
MM
$1,000
Michelle Moore
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
TG
$250
Thomas Geiger
3 months ago
$332
Anonymous
3 months ago
$14,000
Anonymous
4 months ago (Offline Donation)
MB
$250
Mary Bingham
4 months ago
JS
$250
John Stott
4 months ago
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