Photo by Farm Girl Photography
Helping farmers stay rooted.
Farming is brave, hard, crazy… like art. Both are often defiant acts of creation. Both are vocation and avocation alike, a calling, a lifestyle. The ultimate DIY. (Farming is pretty punk!) But DIY is even better when it’s DIO (“Do It OURSELVES”.) A tribe of rugged individuals, working together. A community of neighbors, near and far, lending support, whether a cup of sugar, some tractor parts, advice, encouragement, a helping hand, a voice in Washington… And like the granges of years’ past, those communities get together once in awhile for some singing, dancing, eating, drinking, and whooping it up in support of each other. That’s how Rootstock came into being. Much like those grange hall hoedowns, we want to pay musical tribute to the efforts of the farmers who have been feeding us and protecting our beautiful land for generations, and raise a ruckus to keep them farming!
Rootstock was founded by two farmgirls: one a roots-rock musician inspired by the vital role of music in social action, the other a sustainable farming advocate, trainer of young farmers, and environmental lawyer. Their goal- to raise awareness and support for the farmers making a go of it in the Northeast, and the special challenges they face.
Like art, the margins in farming are often so thin that one catastrophe is sometimes all that stands between continuing to farm or going out of business. While many emergency lending resources exist to help farmers recover from a sudden crisis, accessing that support can often take time. Farming is so time and weather dependent that any delay in responding to emergency situations can turn into a “make or break” moment. The goal of Rootstock is to establish a safety net for farmers, a stop-gap measure that can quickly provide emergency funding to see farmers through the worst of a crisis so other forms of aid can be pursued. Beginning in 2018, emergency grant applications will be available to farmers in New York State suffering from natural disaster/extreme weather-related events.