Crowd-funding campaign helps Island family

Steve Sharratt
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The storm that many people called White Juan 2 caused considerable damage to Carey and Jeff Wood’s Olde MacKenzie Farm in Rose Valley.

A blizzard’s strong winds took it down, but the winds of grace are helping a farm family that lost valuable structures during a recent snowstorm.

A loyal customer helped put together a crowd-funding campaign to raise $7,500.

Carey and Jeff Wood are the owners of Olde MacKenzie Farm in Rose Valley and woke up a couple of Wednesday mornings ago to find a storm some described as White Juan 2 had destroyed one of their greenhouses and damaged 100 foot growing tunnels. The winds ripped them apart and the weight of the snow caused a collapse.

The couple grow fresh greens inside those structures during the winter and suffered extensive crop loss. Especially since the tunnels need power to stay inflated and they lost electricity for 28 hours.

“We’ve had lots of wonderful offers to help with planting, rebuilding and providing encouragement which was needed,” said Carey. “We also have other growers offer seedlings and produce.”

But loyal customer Hannah Bell suggested a crowd-funding campaign to get the funds rolling.

“The impact of the storm was intense and they need assistance,’’ said Bell, who launched the fundraiser on website Indiegogo.

“I’ve been getting my veggies from them for a year and as soon as I heard what was happening I knew I had to help.”

Bell said crowd-funding is a risky venture but seemed the only way to recoup losses since insurance would not cover the damage.

The family, who moved to the Island from Ontario four years ago, has been denied insurance because the structures have to be built on a concrete foundation.

“With the concrete foundation it is very difficult to plant in the ground,” said Wood. “We would need to build permanent raised beds adding extra challenges with fertility and ability to work the soil.”

But the crowd-funding campaign appears to be responding to spring being in the air. As of yesterday, the goal was reached.

“It’s great to know the community pulled together to help us out,” said Carey Wood.

“I am thrilled with the response and support,” said Bell.  “It’s so amazing to be able to make something happen from nothing, especially when there doesn’t seem to be any options.”

For the past three years the farm family has added one new greenhouse a year due to the demand for fresh greens from Island consumers and restaurants.

The farm started in 2010 as a market garden, but the family decided to grow year round in greenhouses.

The crowd-funding campaign had options for a variety of donations from $10 to $1,000 and each one came with a payback of anything from boxes of food and pork to an invite to the farm for a summer barbecue

“We will rebuild better and stronger tunnel structures designed to withstand extreme weather,” say the family on the funding website.

Geographic location: Iceland, Rose Valley, Ontario

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  • Quien
    April 10, 2014 - 11:27

    It's great to see people come together for a worthy and positive cause. Former Olympian, Clara Hughes is doing the same. She has set out on a 12,000 km charity bike ride across Canada. "Clara's Big Ride" is making stops in cities along the way and hosting events to bring awareness to mental health. Today is day 28 days of her 110 day journey and will be arriving in Moncton later this afternoon. This is her last stop in New Brunswick before pedaling on to Prince Edward Island. Read more about the planned events and festivities here https://livingalpha.com/journal/moncton-a-special-last-stop-for-clara-hughes-in-new-brunswick-does-she-have-a-surprise-planned