Last month when the weather forecasts predicted doom and destruction from a storm named Irene, New York City was largely spared. As I was cooped up inside during that day of waiting before she arrived, I paced, turned on the t.v. for the first time in a dog’s age, and pressed my nose to the window. At one point during that day I stuffed a bunch of mint leaves into a jar, poured boiling water to cover (from my reserve of water-filled pots) added a dribble of honey and let it sit to steep. Later I poured some in a glass and added a short squeeze of lemon. Admittedly it looked a little less than desirable with its reptilian green colour, sort of like a pond specimen. Maybe not a looker, but it sure did taste ambrosial – fresh, sweet mint with a bright acidic shot of citrus.
While the storm blew through with relatively few repercussions here – skies cleared the next day and we were left with relatively minor damage and a subway system that slowly chugged back to life after its first ever planned shut down – other parts of the Northeast were being flooded beyond recognition. One month later there are many communities in New England and Upstate NY still reeling from destruction. Roads washed away, cows drowned, houses floated downstream, fields flooded and rendered unfit for growing crops for many years to come. More than 15 farms in the Just Food network that supply New York City CSA’s have been severely affected. See below for a few ways to help:
Today, Sunday 25 September, 2011 many restaurants are participating in Dine Out Irene, a fundraiser for NY-area farms devastated by the hurricane. Click on the link above for a list of restaurants!
Go to Just Food’s Hurricane Relief Page to find information on volunteering, donating and advocating for affected NY farms.
Dozens of NYC-based musicians have donated their music and talent to a 43-track album to benefit people Upstate affected by flooding from Irene. Available for download here: After the Flood: a Compilation to Benefit Upstate New York Victims of Hurricane Irene