Northwood High School Student Establishes Non-Profit, Organizes Concert to Save Three Organic Farms on Puerto Rico

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PRESS RELEASE

NORTHWOOD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ESTABLISHES NON-PROFIT, ORGANIZES CONCERT TO SAVE THREE ORGANIC FARMS ON PUERTO RICO

Irvine, CA (September 16, 2018)

Adharsh Subramanian, a senior at Northwood High School in Irvine, was shocked after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. In response, he created a non-profit organization Organic Farm Charity (OFC), and organized a benefit concert scheduled for September 22, 2018, marking the first anniversary of Hurricane Maria passing the island. The money raised from this benefit concert will be given to three organic farms in the island.

“Like everyone in the U.S., my parents and I watched the news with horror. The devastation to the island brought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria were impossible to ignore. We saw a news segment that focused on the island’s farms. Maria, in particular, crippled the farming industry and caused $780 million in losses. While other fundraising efforts targeted individuals—raising money for food and/or destroyed homes, reconstructing roofs—none appeared to help the small, organic farms on the island. I told my parents I wanted to do what I could to help a few of them.”

Adharsh visited the island in summer of 2018 and volunteered with the owners of each of the three farms. After hearing their stories and what each farm represented, he decided to hold a fundraiser through GoFundMe.

Govardhan Gardens, in Las Marias (near Mayagüez) is owned by Sadhu Govardhan. Before the hurricane, Govardhan Gardens boasted the largest variety of fruit trees in the Caribbean. His trees came from all around the tropical world—including Southeast Asia, the Amazon and the Caribbean—and were sold to many individuals and businesses throughout the Caribbean. In Sadhu’s own words, he stated that “It took 20 years to amass such an impressive collection, but it took only a few hours to destroy it.” Sadhu needs $14,500 to complete the cleanup work.

Founded by Magha Garcia—who was born and raised in Puerto Rico—in 2010, Pachamama Forest Garden sits on 13 acres in Mayagüez. At this forest-farm, the existing wild vegetation as well as new edible crops and ornamental plants are integrated together. Maria destroyed the majority of Pachamama Forest Garden. In order to fully rebuild this all-volunteer self-sustainable forest garden, Magha is requesting $11,000.

Never feeling quite right in the corporate world, in 2008 Paul and Sarah Ratliff left their jobs in Southern California to buy an organic farm on Puerto Rico. They bought a few goats, some bamboo and tropical fruit trees from Govardhan Gardens. Just as many of those trees were finally starting to fruit, Hurricane Maria destroyed close to 80 percent of their farm. In order to rebuild Mayani Farms, this husband and wife team is needs $9,500.

Adharsh has announced that he will run the GoFundMe campaign through November 2018.

Regarding the benefit concert, Adharsh, who is also a high school jazz musician, will lead a band consisting of other members of his high school jazz combo band. Because the fundraiser will benefit farms on Puerto Rico, Adharsh wanted a band from Puerto Rico to “represent” the farms devastated by the two-back-to-back hurricanes. Fortunately, Adharsh was able to find the popular local band “Alma+Gama,” hailing from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. After Alma+Gama performs their Spanish Rock set, they will join the Northwood jazz students for a “jam” to conclude the concert.

All the money raised through the GoFundMe campaign and the benefit concert will be donated to Govardhan Gardens, Pachamama Forest Garden and Mayani Farms.

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Irvine contact:

Adharsh Subramanian: organicfarmcharity@gmail.com

Puerto Rico contact:

Sadhu Govardhan: sadhu@coqui.net

Sarah Ratliff: sarah@mayanifarms.com

Magha Garcia: jardinpachamama@gmail.com