Dear Friends of Local Foods Connection:
Iowa City is suffering from historic levels of flooding. Here is a link to an Associated Press story:
The main office of Local Foods Connection in Iowa City is dry and is not threatened by flood waters. However, a handful of our families have been displaced by the flood and are at-risk at losing almost everything they own. In addition, some of our volunteers have been forced to evacuate their homes.
All of the CSA farms which serve Local Foods Connection clients in Iowa City are still operating but the farmers are under a great deal of stress. Harvesting in the mud and rain is exhausting and it can damage the soil – their most valuable asset. Some of their crops are suffering from overwatering and are becoming more susceptible to disease and pests, and might even die. In addition, the farmers’ still-unplanted fall crops are threatened. Farmers cannot till wet soil, nor can they plant seeds or seedlings in the water-logged fields. Our farmers need several days of dry, sunny weather to get their operations back in order.
Local Foods Connection also serves families and farmers in the Cedar Rapids and Des Moines areas. Both of these cities are also experiencing tremendous flooding. I worry that our whole program in Cedar Rapids might be cancelled this year. Our CSA Farm there, Moser’s Wildwood Gardens, run by Virginia and Marion Moser, began suffering from the rainy spring nearly two months ago and has not yet been able to even start its CSA. The Center for Fit Families at Mercy Hospital is our main contact in Cedar Rapids and we do not know yet how much they have suffered from the floods.
Our mission at Local Foods Connection is to serve sustainable ag farmers and low-income families. In the coming days, we hope to find news ways to help our friends suffering from the flooding. If you have needs or suggestions for how we can help, please email or call our office.
Laura Dowd, Executive Director