Open Hands Farm Hail Damage Fund

On Sunday, August 9th, Open Hands Farm suffered a devastating hail storm. In combination with projected COVID losses in their fall wholesale business, primarily to schools and a restaurant distributor, they have lost over $60,000 worth of fruits and vegetables from their wholesale business. Even the root crops they're well known for, which need plenty of leaves to make big roots, have significant damage and a limited growing season remaining. The COVID losses alone were manageable; the farm business has weathered storms and challenges before, but the timing and strength of this hail storm has tipped the scales so they need our help.

Open Hands Farm and its owners, Erin Johnson and Ben Doherty, have been beloved parts of our community for more than 15 years, building a vibrant and successful organic farm that helps to feed this community each season. In addition to their CSA, Open Hands sells produce to a number of schools and distributors and donates 9,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food shelves annually.  While crop insurance for commodity crops in this country is robust, insurance for vegetables ranges from woefully inadequate to prohibitively expensive, so they have no safety net outside of the CSA side of their business. The remaining crops will be harvested to continue to provide food for their pre-paid CSA pickups, but will only provide enough food to meet a small fraction of their usual wholesale sales.

If you've been out to Open Hands, you know that they don't just grow amazing food, they've developed a devoted community of members and friends. We, the folks who benefit from the immense effort they put into farming each season, want to make it as easy as possible for them to keep doing what they're doing and to help bring them back to a place of stability for years to come.

As farm members, my family and I are asking for you to join us in making a donation to support this farm and help this family through these difficult times.

Please give what you are able.  Together we can cushion the blow and help Open Hands Farm make it through this tough season of major compounding setbacks. 

All donations regardless of size are so appreciated. If Ben and Erin have touched your life over the years and you are able to donate, thank you. If you can’t afford a donation at this time, please check in on them. They need our support in all forms.

Thanks so much for whatever you can do!

If you would prefer to send a check, you can mail it to: Open Hands Farm 4151 320th St West, Northfield, MN 55057.

To help get the word out, please share the link on Facebook and Instagram. And/or email the link to friends and family if that makes more sense for you.   
  • Mark Miller 
    • $25 
    • 14 mos
  • Tammy Winter 
    • $25 
    • 14 mos
  • Jonathan Hart 
    • $50 
    • 14 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
  • Sam and Marja Steinberg 
    • $200 
    • 15 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Friends of Open Hands Farm (3)

Susannah Shmurak 
Northfield, MN
Erin Johnson 
Anne Haddad 
Team member
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