The Crescent City Farmers Market in New Orleans has had a disaster this week; their iconic dairy farmers, Warren And Sandra Smith of Smith Creamery in Mount Hermann, LA had a huge explosion on the farm. Luckily, no one was hurt including the cows) but the damage to the processing plant is massive and will take months to repair.
Besides being the conduit for information for the community, the market staff is collecting donations and getting signatures on a card for the Smiths. The table is manned by community advisory and board members of the market, and if someone gets there early enough, they can also have a free I (heart) Creole Cream Cheese t-shirt (which was being phased out of the market merchandise and so has come in handy!).
The important thing is the channels of communication are kept open by the market and any media or support requests can be channeled through or facilitated by the skilled staff on behalf of the farmers. Therefore, the time the Smiths spend answering the phone, explaining their plan and deciding how and when to accept donations is reduced and instead they can spend their time rebuilding.
Once again, a market, its shoppers and farmers share a social contract that is not written down but it understood and expanded when needed.
Smith Creamery Facebook page