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Local farmers in need after Hurricane Ida damaged crops

“The storm really cut through pretty much all of where our vendors are and dumped lots of rain and wind and damage onto all of them."

NEW ORLEANS — Sunday afternoon rain was good for the crops at Too Tall Farm and Nursery in New Orleans, but the last three weeks have been a lot of work.  

“They were flooded out. We lost a lot of them and so now we are late getting in a lot of the stuff that could be growing right now,” said co-owner Maggie Kaiser. “Our fence was knocked down. It’s only propped up right now, so we definitely have to do some work there.” 

The small business is just one local farm and food producer trying to rebound from Hurricane Ida.  

“It interrupts sales significantly,” said Kaiser. 

Too Tall Farm and Nursery is a vendor with Crescent City Farmers Markets which help put food on the tables for families in Southeast Louisiana. Hurricane Ida sidelined five markets, where Kaiser and co-owner Jacob Ingalls use seeds to help sprout sustainability in the community.  

“It gets plants into the hands of people living in the city who are then able to grow food for themselves,” said Ingalls. 

Getting back to filling the need can be a financial struggle, which other farmers face as well. 

“The storm really cut through pretty much all of where our vendors are and dumped lots of rain and wind and damage onto all of them,” said Executive Director of the New Orleans non-profit Market Umbrella, Cordelia Heaney. 

That’s where “Crescent Fund” comes in, connecting those food producers to emergency grants.  It’s managed Market Umbrella which operates the Crescent City Farmers Markets. Heaney says so far, damage from Hurricane Ida totals more than one a half-million dollars among the market’s 65 vendors.  

“All of us know that insurance doesn’t cover everything that we lose when a storm happens.  So, we want to both help our vendors get short-term funds to help them get going after a storm and then also support them long term,” said Heaney. 

“Small businesses in New Orleans are widely important and bring a lot of flavor to the city,” said Kaiser. 

Kaiser applied for a grant and says that support helps keep families fed and businesses like hers rooted in the communities they serve.    

The “Crescent Fund” got a $7,500 donation from Fidelity Bank to help support those farmers. If you’d like to support the mission, click here to donate.

You can also text IDACCFM to 44321.  

RELATED: ‘Never going to be like it was’ | Hurricane Ida decimates 107-year-old Chauvin grocery

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