rootstock

Cows Don't Float. Neither Do People.

"Houston: We Feel Your Pain. Aug 29, 2011." Those were the words on the lighted sign outside the Rotterdam Junction, NY fire department as I drove from my family's farm in the Mohawk Valley back to my home in the Hudson Valley. From one valley to another. 6 years ago a friend of the family, a fellow farmer, the patriarch of a farm family in the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys, lost his life driving through standing water to inspect his fields flooded by Hurricane Irene. 6 years ago my brother came home with a look on his face I'll never forget. He spent the day pulling dead cows out of flooded barns. Irene wasn't even a hurricane by the time it got around to knocking on the Northeast's door. That wording didn't matter to the folks in upstate NY, in VT, NH... We were devastated. Six years later you can still see the scars, if you know where to look. And now, the scale of what's happening down south is almost unfathomable, even for those of us who've seen a bit of it before.

This week we announced that Rootstock 2017 will take place on October 1st, right down by the river in Beacon. I've never been prouder of the lineup: this time around, Daisycutter will be joined by The Gibson Brothers, Sloan Wainwright, and The Shockenaw Mountain Boys. I'm honored and humbled to be sharing the stage with such company. The money that we raise will go towards establishing an emergency relief fund for local farmers, to help them keep going in the immediate wake of natural disasters. However, farmers are one big community, joined by our commitment to the land, to growing and feeding our neighbors, and by the soil in our veins. The Northeast farming community knows firsthand the pain and suffering our sisters and brothers in Texas are going through, and our hearts are breaking with them. So in support and solidarity with our fellow farmers in Texas, we're donating at least 10% of this year's net proceeds from the Rootstock festival to flood relief and recovery efforts for Texas farmers. You can get the full details over at www.rootstockfest.org

You can download the song I wrote post-Irene, West of Eden, for free here at Bandcamp. We're also donating all our proceeds from album downloads to Red Cross relief efforts in Texas.


Hang in there, Houston. We know how you feel- and we know how tough farmers (and Texans) are. We're with you, and sending you all our love and support.

West of Eden
- Sara Milonovich c. 2012 (ASCAP)

Driving, dodging the deer and the drunks
Past foundations left in the floodplain so long
Still there waiting where the water put them down
It is just flotsam? Or one more farm gone?

Who do you blame? The corps of engineers?
Or the wind and the rain, the way that they came out of nowhere?
Quench the thirsty downtown- we’ll never know the reason
They left us here West of Eden waiting to drown

Remember the fields in afternoons of amber
Now they’re buried in brown, and I feel like a foreignlander
Not anymore use– just a helpless bystander
Got to stand up for something, better be your neighbor

Neon eye’s focused on wildfires now
Long since forgotten the lead lining inside the clouds
Nothing left to do but wear it with pride as a shroud
It's a bitter drink, just swallow it down

Chorus

The grass has grown up to hide the worst of the scars
The money’s dried up with the mud in the yard
We sang “goodnight” but we’re still waiting for the stars
Could have cut out and run, but we just give up too hard

Chorus
We’re still here West of Eden, waiting to drown.

Farmers: the Only Folks We Rely On 3 Times a Day!

Farming is brave, hard, crazy… like art. Both are often defiant acts of creation. Both are vocation and avocation alike, a calling, a lifestyle. The ultimate DIY. (Farming is pretty punk!) But DIY is even better when it’s DIO (“Do It OURSELVES”.) A tribe of rugged individuals, working together. A community of neighbors, near and far, lending support, whether a cup of sugar, some tractor parts, advice, encouragement, a helping hand, a voice in Washington… And like the granges of years’ past, those communities get together once in awhile for some singing, dancing, eating, drinking, and whooping it up in support of each other. That’s how Rootstock came into being. Much like those grange hall hoedowns, we want to pay musical tribute to the efforts of past and present farmers who have been feeding us and protecting our beautiful land for generations, and raise a ruckus to support the next generation!

Rootstock was founded by two farmgirls: one a roots-rock musician inspired by the vital role of music in social action (if you guessed it was Yours Truly, you guessed right!), the other a sustainable farming advocate, trainer of young farmers, and lawyer. Our goal- to raise awareness and support for the young farmers making a go of it in the Northeast, and the special challenges they face. To do so, we've partnered with two energetic, dedicated advocacy organizations, each addressing a unique challenge facing young farmers, with all ticket proceeds from the kickoff Rootstock concert split between them.

National Young Farmers Coalition represents and supports young farmers, providing training and a voice in Washington on issues such as debt relief and food policy.

American Farmland Trust is dedicated to protecting farmland and keeping farmers on it, while preserving valuable natural resources like soil and water. Their “No Farms, No Food” movement reminds us that it is farmers and ranchers who feed us and sustain America.

We’re raising the rafters NOVEMBER 27th, 2016, starting at 6 pm, at the TOWNE CRIER in Beacon, NY!

Floodwood, Steamboats, and Daisycutter will be playing our hearts out to support these young farmers- and all of the bands have a personal connection to the upstate NY farming and conservation communities!

3 rockin’ bands, 2 farming advocacy groups, 1 night of music, food, and celebration of local agriculture! We hope you can join us! For more info on the concert, visit www.rootstockfest.org. For tickets, head over to www.townecrier.com.  If you can't join us on 11/27, but still want to contribute, we have a GoFundMe set up to offset some production expenses. You can check it out at https://www.gofundme.com/1st-annual-rootstock. And THANK YOU!!!