Farmers throughout Massachusetts are fighting to protect their crops from drought, and Stearns Farm has not been immune from these challenges. Though our farm is lucky to have extensive drip irrigation capacity, our water costs have skyrocketed.

“Climate change and the El Niño have combined in unpredictable ways to produce an historic drought,” says Nomi Sofer, president of the Stearns Farm Board of Directors. “As a result, we anticipate spending four to five times what we have budgeted to keep the crops watered.”

In a typical year, Stearns Farm uses irrigation only to supplement the rainfall—primarily in July and August. This year, irrigation began as soon as the crops went into the ground in the spring and has continued throughout the season.  Without irrigation, we would not be having a harvest this year. “This isn’t something we could have planned for,” Nomi adds, “although we will be budgeting for more water in the future in case current trends continue.”

The farm must raise $10,000 to cover the additional, unforeseen water costs. With a modest contribution from all of our sharers, we can raise the funds to cover these expenses. Please consider making a restricted, tax-deductible donation of $25, $50 or another amount you choose before Aug. 31 via the Stearns Farm online store:

Thank you for your support!

For more information about how the drought is affecting local farmers, check out these resources:

Mass. Deals With Drought Conditions (Radio Boston)

Massachusetts Drought Conditions Map (PlantMaps)

For Mass. Farmers, the ongoing drought is no joke (Boston Globe)