Problem: On May 30, an accidental fire, started by a visiting kid playing with matches, devastated Cayuga Pure Organics Brooktondale, New York, facilities, including their historic barn, a chunk of their inventory, and all of their cleaning and bagging equipment.
“The fire destroyed valuable infrastructure and equipment, such as a rare grain dehuller and an also-rare working gravity table, two pieces of equipment that are key to processing and cleaning local grains and beans,” the Greenmarket’s June Russell. Without a facility or the equipment to process their organically grown, non-GMO grains and heirloom beans, there is no Cayuga Pure Organics at the Greenmarket, not to mention as ingredients used in many of your favorite restaurants around town, like Seersucker, Roberta’s Bklyn Larder, and many, many others around the city and state who value owner and founder Erick Smith’s phenomenal, honestly grown wares.
Bigger problem: Insurance isn’t even sort of covering the expense of rebuilding. “We were underinsured and will need most of our insurance money just to keep things going until we can rebuild,” said Smith in an e-mail. “We can only rebuild if we are able to raise the money for construction and for the equipment we need. If we do not raise the money, the farm will almost certainly be out of business.” Leaving Smith and crew to find a way to raise over $200,000. So far they’ve raised a little over $50,000 — that’s a long road ahead. How can you help? Glad you asked.
SOLUTION! Tuesday, July 16, night you can head to Jimmy’s No. 43 where Slow Food NYC is co-hosting a CPO-lead workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. called Field to Loaf (get tickets here), where Smith and a spectacular panel of experts — including Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, Jessamyn Rodriguez of Hot Bread Kitchen, Edible’s own Brian Halweil — will talk about why sustainably produced, locally sourced grains are vital to the health of our agriculture, our land, and, well, us, while you get to listen, eat, and drink to the non-GMO beat.
Or, if you can’t make that, help a grower out via CPO and the Greenmarket’s crowd-funding campaign to help rebuild and get Erick and his team back up and working again by clicking and donating here. CPO is the only major supplier of locally grown, organic, non-GMO grains and beans. “CPO has brought inspiration to NYC chefs, home cooks, and bakers alike by bringing the staple crops of grains and beans into the market place where they have become an integral part of the Greenmarket Community since joining us in the winter of 2009,” says Russell. “CPO is just beginning to hit their stride as a relatively young farm business, and the fire at the beanery is a harsh setback. Given the chance to rebuild gives CPO the opportunity to build back stronger than they were before.”