One week ago, Reber Rock Farm’s newly-raised barn caught fire and burned to the ground. In the fire many items were lost including some livestock, tools, equipment, hay, and grain. To see some of the scope of what has been lost, watch a video of the original barn-raising here: “Barn Building.”
Reber Rock Farm (RRF) began operation in 2013 hoping to help fill in the gaps of the foodscape in the Essex community and beyond. This small draft horse-powered farm is owned by Racey Bingham and Nathan Henderson, and co-managed by Gwen Jamison and Chad Vogel.
Although the fire caused much destruction, Reber Rock Farm is determined to rebuild and reacquire what was lost and continue to provide delicious, healthy, affordable food. Their Farm Store will remain open and the farm will operate despite the setbacks the fire created.
The community is already assisting in many ways to help them continue operations and begin rebuilding.
RRF is so thankful for the outpouring of support from their caring community; many many people have already done so much, and others are asking how they can help. Funds given here will help RRF rebuild the barn and replace equipment, supplies and animals lost or damaged in the fire.
Any and all gifts are greatly appreciated. Please help them get back to doing what they love so they can give back to that same loving community. (GoFundMe.com)
You can visit www.gofundme.com/reberrockfarm to donate to the rebuilding efforts.
Or if you’d like to have the full amount of your donation go to Reber Rock Farm, please mail a check made out to Reber Rock Farm to 1699 Jersey St., Essex, NY, 12936.
RRF Situation Details
Racey was able to answer our questions to give a fuller picture of the situation at the farm. See her answers below and learn more about the loses caused by the fire and how Reber Rock Farm is operating despite these setbacks.
Do you know the cause of the fire?
No, we don’t. Nathan was down at the barn checking on the calf and the heat lamps 10 minutes before it started, and nothing was amiss. Likely it was a heat lamp that was being used to keep poultry warm.
What equipment/supplies etc. did the farm lose?
Combine, Mixer Grind, a full workshop of hand and power tools, fasteners, gas cans, diesel cans, welding equipment, work benches; 10 tons of grain and seed, horse harness, generators, pumps, lawn mower, 68 laying hens, 1 calf, couple hundred bales of hay, a hay wagon, garden carts, feed barrels, and porch furniture.
Would you explain how this will affect RRF until the barn etc. can be rebuilt/replaced?
The loss of a barn is the loss of everything you use it for. Our barn stored our equipment, our grain, our tools, some of our hay. Our laying hens were the only animals housed in the barn, the rest of our animals are raised outside on pasture, even in the winter. During calving and foaling season we do often bring mammas and babies into the barn for those first few nights, so we will likely need to purchase and erect a temporary shelter for the end of calving, chick brooding and our upcoming foaling season.
Despite this set back, all our work will continue, just with more effort, slowly and less efficiently. Sugaring has started, and thankfully the sugarbush was unaffected so our Maple Weekends will be happening as scheduled on March 19/20 and April 2/3. Learn more here: www.reberrockfarm.com/events.html.
We won’t be able to sell our own eggs in the store, nor or our grain products, but the store will remain open and we will buy in products from other local farms to fill the gaps.
How can others help?
Visit our store! Come to our events! Support all your local farms as often as you can! There has been a lot of talk about community insurance movements, and this is a good moment to continue that conversation. Once we’ve got our costs covered, we’d like to work with folks to work out how community insurance can happen, so that others can benefit from the amazing community support we are already seeing.
Again, if you’d like to support Reber Rock Farm monetarily you can donate at www.gofundme.com/reberrockfarm or mail a check made out to Reber Rock Farm to 1699 Jersey St., Essex, NY, 12936 (sending a check ensures that the full donation amount goes to RRF).
Learn More about Reber Rock Farm
To learn more about Reber Rock Farm please peruse the RRF fotofeeds (photo essays) that have been shared on Essex on Lake Champlain.
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeeds #1: Just Getting Started
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeeds #2: June in July
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeeds # 3: Season’s Changing
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeed #4: Year in Review
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeed #5: Getting Ready for Sugar
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeed #6: Tis the Season for Change and Growth
- Reber Rock Farm Fotofeed #7: A Way to Live
You can also visit their website to learn more: reberrockfarm.com.