Farming family on brink of bankruptcy pleads for help

A P.E.I. family is turning to crowd-sourcing to raising money to save their farm before it's foreclosed by lenders.

P.E.I. potato growers hoping online fundraiser will save the farm

Brian and David Best say the family is desperate for help to keep their Tryon farm open. (CBC)

A P.E.I. family is turning to crowd-sourcing to raising money to save their potato farm before it’s foreclosed by lenders.

The Best Acre Farm has operated in the Tryon area since 1934. The Best family has overcome many crises over the years, including droughts, heavy rain, potato warts and low prices.

But after weathering those storms, the bills have piled up. The family is now facing their biggest challenge yet.

There’s not enough money to pay for fuel and hire workers. The machinery is idle. The family cannot afford to harvest the land.

Farmer David Best said it’s gut wrenching to see the empty fields.

"It feels like someone’s reaching in and pulling your innards out," he said.

"The first forty years, I couldn’t do anything wrong, but things have got tightened down now that the margins are so slim that if you make one slip you’re drowned."

Now, with their future uncertain, they’re asking for help.

The family has set up an online fundraising camping using Facebook and Indigogo. It’s offering perks including a farm stay or recipes in exchange for donations.

In two days, the family raised $1,400. It’s still a long way from their goal of $200,000.

Best said if they can’t get enough money to plant a crop in the next few weeks, they’ll go under.