If you visit the Boise Farmers Market in the summer, you’ve probably seen Tim Sommer and his family selling greens. They’ve owned Purple Sage Farms in Middleton since 1988, and sell to local restaurants in the Treasure and Wood River Valleys.
On Sunday, heavy snow destroyed five of their 15 greenhouses when their roofs collapsed under the weight. Others were severely damaged. Sommer says the structures are expensive – and essential to their business – which relies on early harvests that begin in March and last through November. He says they learned what can happen in an unusually harsh winter.
He’s also learned just how much the community cares about their operation. Another Treasure Valley farmer set up a GoFundMe account with hopes of raising $25,000 for Purple Sage Farms with many neighbors chipping in funds, big and small.
“I was surprised," says Sommer. "We’re so grateful for people doing this. As a local producer as a small farm, we do alright and have a lot of market visibility but you never make enough money to replace these greenhouses.”
So far the crowdfunding campaign has raised about $14,000 to go toward repairing the greenhouses.
Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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