Hear from Community Crew Members about their experience after the storm and why they volunteer at Urban Roots.
Without doubt, each of us has a story of Winter Storm Uri that will be told over the years. The stories likely include how surreal it was to see our city blanketed in snow; of widespread hardships and loss; and most certainly of how folks came together to help neighbors hit hardest by the storm. Here’s what happened on the farm…
The air was biting cold the day before the storm hit. No matter how unbelievable the week’s forecast seemed, we knew that preparing the farm to withstand Uri’s record low temperatures was top priority. If the storm was as bad as they were reporting, our hunger relief partners would need our produce. We had a big job ahead of us and as usual, our devoted Community Crew showed up bundled and ready. Volunteers worked alongside the farm team to install frost blankets, move flats of transplants into the temperature-controlled cooler, and to help winterize the irrigation system to avoid busted pipes.
The morning we returned to assess the damage, we discovered that blustery winds had blown back the frost blanket in spots, which meant some of our leafy greens were lost. And while Uri didn’t spare the allium greens, the garlic and onion bulbs were found viable beneath the surface. What couldn’t be salvaged was our Hoop House. The rungs collapsed and were beyond repair due to the weight of the snow and ice. This would be the farm’s biggest loss.
The Hoop House serves as storage for our harvest bins, a curing facility for onions and winter squashes, and importantly, as a gathering place for youth. At the end of a hard day’s work, youth may huddle in the Hoop House – sometimes for protection from cold or wet weather – but more often the space is used for learning, celebrating, and telling their stories. And in doing so that space is no longer just a Hoop House, but a sacred space.
So that’s our winter storm story… so far. We need you to help us write the end. If you are able, please schedule your Amplify Austin gift now and help us recover and rebuild together here or by visiting www.amplifyatx.org/organizations/urban-roots-atx! All funds raised through Amplify Austin, set for March 4-5, will help us rebuild a Hoop House that’s worthy of its duty. And now your gift will go twice as far when it’s matched by a local family foundation! Every gift made to Urban Roots’ Amplify Austin fundraiser will be matched dollar-for-dollar to help us recover and rebuild our beloved Hoop House. Now that’s a good ending.