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Orange County Farmer Selling Bag Of Onions For $150K To Save Farm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - Desperate times call for desperate measures. Such is the case for a farmer in Orange County.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane On The Story


Chris Pawelski, of Pine Island, says the losses he suffered after Irene and Lee threaten the future of the farm that's been in his family for four generations. He lost all but a few acres of his onions.

He's seeking to raise some serious money and attention to what he says are the many problems with crop insurance programs.

"There is just so many different types of little rules and gimmicks within the program that render it virtually useless," he told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

Pawelski is selling a 50 pound bag of yellow onions for $150,000 on eBay. He's throwing in a five gallon bucket of black dirt soil for free.

Given the unique farming situation in Orange County, he'd like crops to be considered property losses.

Flooding on Chris Pawelski's farm (credit: eBay)
Flooding on Chris Pawelski's farm (credit: eBay)

Farmers could then line up for help from FEMA.

But that's just one of many problems facing agricultural in the region, he says.

"Hurricane Irene struck the black dirt region of the lower Hudson Valley, 1 hour north of New York City, devastating thousands of acres of farmland including our farm. The storm hit at the worst possible time, when we had 90 percent to 95 percent of our expenses into our crops. We lost 48 out of 51 acres of onions. My farm has lost over $150,000 this year alone and coupled with past disasters we are over $200,000 in the hole with no hope in sight," Pawelski writes in his eBay ad. "This isn't just about saving a farm, and the seeds, and dirt, and wood, and plastic, and metal, and machinery, and sweat, and gears, and tractors, and barns, and tools, and crops and tears … it's about hope and it's about our future, ours and yours, help us feed you."

To bid on the onions yourself, click HERE.

Have you had to take desperate measures to move on after this summer's terrible storms? Share your story below.

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