Organic Farm Charity (OFC) is a nonprofit organization founded by a high school student in 2018to assist organic farms that have lost a substantial amount of vegetation due to natural disasters. Our mission is to help farmers who are still in need of help. We began our work in Puerto Rico, where in September 2017, two back-to-back hurricanes carved a merciless path of destruction through the Caribbean island. Hurricane Irma preceded the now-famous Hurricane Maria by two weeks. Irma left countless residents homeless, and without electricity and water. Barely two weeks would pass before Maria would sweep across the entirety of the island. Maria, a category 5 (the strongest) was the most devastating hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in recorded history. Maria uprooted an estimated 460 million trees and killed 4,645 people, many of them elderly, poor, with chronic illnesses, and those least prepared for a hurricane of that intensity.
Though many fundraising efforts were created in order to help Puerto Ricans, none reached the farmers we visited. Even eleven months after the devastating hurricanes, Puerto Rican farmers are still severely crippled and desperate for help.
While everyone on the island felt Maria’s wrath and continued to struggle to recover and do their best to start over, nobody on the island can claim to have felt more long-term damage than farmers. Crops that took years to cultivate and mature were ripped from the soil. For three very fortunate organic farms, Organic Farm Charity will donate funds raised in this campaign to them. Each has a very different story and therefore each has different needs.
In order to collect fundraising money, Organic Farm Charity conducted their first relief concert on September 22 of 2018 in Irvine, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria. The money collected in 2018 will be distributed to the three farmers in the first week of January 2019.
Meet the Beneficiaries of Our Fundraiser:
Prior to Hurricane Maria, Govardhan Gardens boasted the largest collection of tropical fruit trees in the Caribbean—not just Puerto Rico but throughout the Caribbean. Those who purchased Govardhan Gardens’ grafted trees live on Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean. They are individuals and businesses. Taking 20 years to amass such an impressive collection, it took mere hours to destroy it. Rather than be defeated, Sadhu Govardhan has chosen to rebuild his farm near Mayagüez. He is requesting at least $14,500 to achieve this.
Founded in 2010, Pachamama Forest Garden sits on 13 acres in Mayagüez. At this forest-farm, the existing wild vegetation as well as new edible crops and ornamental plants are integrated together. Not quite complete when Maria destroyed the majority of Pachamama Forest Garden, to rebuild this all-volunteer self-sustainable forest garden, owner and primary caretaker Magha Garcia is requesting $11,000 to get things running again.
Never feeling quite right in the corporate world, in 2008 Paul and Sarah Ratliff left their jobs in Southern California, where they worked for biotech giant Amgen, to buy an organic farm in Puerto Rico. They bought a few goats, some bamboo and tropical fruit trees from Govardhan Gardens and just as many of those trees were finally starting to fruit, Hurricane Maria stole 80 percent of their farm. With intentions to feed themselves well into their old age, in order to rebuild Mayani Farms, this husband and wife team is requesting $9,500.
Please consider donating to Organic Farm Charity. Please consider telling your friends and family about Organic Farm Charity and the selfless and generous work being done for organic farmers in Puerto Rico.