Lincoln farmer receives donations to fix greenhouse

Nash’s Veggies is run by Curtis Hamm , left, and Josh Nash (right). The farm received $6595 in donations in three days after a greenhouse was damaged by a storm. (Submitted photo/John Nash)

LINCOLN — Josh Nash was in his kitchen, preparing for a slow day of administrative work.

It was around 11:30 a.m., and he looked outside as a storm rolled in.

Wind gusts were up to 70 miles per hour that day three weeks ago. One gust rolled up the southern side of one of his greenhouses. Mr. Nash quickly sprang into action.

He wheeled his truck around to park in front of the greenhouse, called a hoop house or high tunnel, in an attempt to break the wind.

Mr. Nash went inside to check on the situation, realized how dangerous it was and backed out. He started to release the pressure by cutting holes into the plastic cover to prevent the entire structure from being blown away.

He documented the experience and posted it on his YouTube channel — The Foul Mouth Farmer.

After the storm, Mr. Nash, who owns Nash’s Veggies with business partner Curtis Hamm, went to bed with the intention of cleaning up and starting the rebuilding process the next day. What he didn’t know is the Milford community was going to lift him up.

One of Mr. Nash’s regular customers from the Milford Farmers Market, Kim Cahill, saw the video on YouTube and started a GoFundMe to help Mr. Nash rebuild. The goal was $2,000.

It took less than 48 hours for the goal to be met. By the time Mr. Nash asked for donations to be turned off, donations had reached $6,595.

“It made me feel like my community wanted me to succeed,” Mr. Nash said. “They wouldn’t let me fail.”

Mr. Nash said he had no knowledge Ms. Cahill had started the GoFundMe until donations started rolling in.

“She didn’t ask me, which was honestly great because I would have fought it and she got me out of the way,” Mr. Nash said. “I really do appreciate it, I never would have started one for myself. I was always going to go and rebuild that tunnel even if no one gave me a penny. But at the end of the day, I’m so thankful and blessed.”

Mr. Nash said the tunnel was close to 75 percent salvageable while the crops inside were 80 percent. The tunnel contained three crops — lettuce, carrots and peppers.

A little bit of lettuce had to be tossed and luckily, Mr. Nash says, the peppers had not been planted yet.

The biggest harm caused by the storm was it meant Mr. Nash got a later start on the season than he was planning.

“What that tunnel essentially does, is it’s like if you moved your crops 500 miles south,” Mr. Nash said. “This way you can be first to market when people are clamoring for a locally grown pepper. So it did affect us in that respect, but I had some friends come over the next day to take it apart and organize the inventory to get back on track.”

Mr. Nash was born and raised in Milford. He started Nash’s Veggies on his property in Lincoln six years ago when he was 35.

Nash’s Veggies specializes in productions of vegetables for salads. It’s a no-spray farm with all crops grown naturally.

Mr. Nash and his right-hand man Mr. Hamm are usually found at the Milford and Milton Farmers Markets. With questions looming over when farmer markets will open back up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Nash said they’re planning on a roadside stand for the upcoming season.

Mr. Nash has been growing his own vegetables for more than 20 years, after taking classes at both the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. He said the support from the Milford community helped him make Nash’s Veggies a full-time thing six years ago.

“As I grew up, you notice it’s hard to find local food stands,” Mr. Nash said. “I think Milford really embraced me because as many farms we have in the area, there’s not many places where you can go and get like a Delaware-grown carrot. Milford’s just a really cool town and everyone stepped up for me when this happened, even behind the scenes, so many people were texting me asking if they could help.”

With the money raised from the GoFundMe, Mr. Nash is planning on rebuilding the tunnel and also improving his wash-and-pack station so he can sell to different outlets.

Mr. Nash said he never expected the donations to go so high.

“I was surprised when I saw it was $1,600, I thought it would then hit $2.000 and that would be it,” Mr. Nash said. “I had no expectations but that’s when I started to believe. I woke up and then it was $3,500. I told my sister I wanted to stop it. She said, ‘People want to help you out, it makes them feel good,’ so I just let it ride.”

When the donations reached $6,500, Mr. Nash said he finally decided to ask for the GoFundMe to close.

“Sure I could use 20- rand, but at that point my cup had runneth over,” Mr. Nash said.

Mr. Nash is active on social media with Nash’s Veggies’ Facebook and Instagram accounts, plus all the videos he posts on The Foul Mouth Farmer which is his personal YouTube channel.

The new high tunnel will be built later in the summer. Mr. Nash said he will keep his followers updated on the progress across all his social media accounts.

“I’m transparent,” he sad. “I want people to see where that money went.”