Posted on Thu, December 10, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
0 Comments | Categories: Events, Farms and Farming, News, Current Events, Take Action,
This year, in honor of Slow Foods 20th anniversary, we celebrate Terra Madre Daya day for celebrating eating locally, and honoring our local food communities.
Unfortunately today we also bring news of a Terra Madre community that has been adversely affected by extreme weather, an occurrence that has become all too familiar, especially to our Terra Madre communities in Georgia who have been hit especially hard this year.
A tornado barreled through the area around Ranger, GA on Tuesday evening, and destroyed the infrastructure of Riverview Farm, a family-owned farm beloved by the local community. Four of their barns were destroyed along with a grain elevator; luckily, their houses, animals and tractors are intact. Right now, the Swancy family is facing many unknowns as they begin to assess the damages and to save their grain crop, which is intact for now but needs to be moved before it is destroyed by rain.
Slow Food chapter leaders and members in Georgia and Tennessee have already rallied around the family, ready to provide help and support. This is not the first time this food and farming community has rallied around their farmers in the wake of a natural disaster: earlier this fall, many small farms in the Atlanta area were devastated by flooding. The chapter in Atlanta took swift action to set up the Georgia Flooded Farms Relief Fund and thanks to many generous donations, the fund is in the process of providing monetary help to eleven family farms in the region.
Slow Food Atlanta leaders received news of the devastation to Riverview Farms, they decided to transition to a general disaster relief fund to help small, sustainable GA farms who are affected by tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters. The chapter will develop a new application and a rolling disbursement process. Stay tuned to hear more about their efforts to help Riverview Farms and other small family farms rebound after losses.
To make a donation, click here.
Riverview Farm is an organic farm that produces grass-fed beef, Berkshire pork, organic produce, and hand-milled corn meal, polenta and grits, and is operated by the Swancy family. The Swancys have several ties to the Slow Food community: Charlotte Swancy attended Terra Madre in 2004; Carter and Beverly Swancy attending Terra Madre in 2006, and Benji Andersen, the farm apprentice, attended Terra Madre in 2008. Photos of their damage to their farm (above) are provided by Suzanne Welander and Donata Renfrow, who visited the farm on Wednesday.
While we are saddened by the devastation that the Swancys and others in Georgia have experienced, we see the fundraising and recovery efforts of the Georgia Flooded Farms Relief as the true spirit and strength of our Terra Madre food communities, and the very spirit that we celebrate this Terra Madre Day.
[Terra Madre Day will be celebrated in endless ways by the Slow Food network all around the world: today the Association has more than 100,000 members and 2,000 Terra Madre food communities active in over 150 countries. Celebrations will take place on farms and in homes, in schools and communities, in cities and rural areas.]