Community rallies to raise rent money for NH farm after drought led to tough season
HOOKSETT — Owners of LaValley Farms felt the impact of New Hampshire's extreme drought as they tried to prepare for the spring season.
"After the loss, we experienced with last season’s drought we were unable to save any money to cover the farm’s springtime expenses, including our land rent that is due preseason," owner Danielle LaValley wrote.
Danielle and Chris have been farming for the past 11 seasons but said last season was the hardest they have ever endured because of the drought.
They each picked up full-time jobs in the winter to make ends meet after earning no income due to the poor farming season.
"It has been a very long year for us, but we don’t want to throw in the towel," Danielle said.
Danielle created a GoFundMe account to help with the rent for the farm, with a goal of raising $6,500. Within two days, over $8,000 was raised.
"Know that our farm is here because of you," Danielle said after receiving enough money to pay their rent. All money raised beyond the expense of rent will go towards other springtime expenses such as seeds.
Most of central and southern New Hampshire remains in a severe drought, including Hooksett, the location of LaValley Farms. This is a slight improvement over the extreme drought conditions reported in the fall.
Since Jan. 1, the area has received near average precipitation. However, considering the year 2016 ended with a precipitation deficit of between 7 and 10 inches, it will take much more than an average pattern to reduce the drought conditions.