Farmers’ market season is in full swing across Central New York but what growers have to offer might look a little different than in years past. That’s because all the rain we’ve seen means this early, less local produce offered at the markets.
The weekly farmers’ market in Liverpool is usually sprinkled with locally grown produce. Right now, it’s mostly imported fruits and vegetables.
“You can’t get in. The fields are nothing but a big pile of soup. You can’t get the tractor in it,” says Victor Walters of Walters Farms.
Judy Pickard from Judy’s Farm Market shares the sentiment adding, “I’d like to get on it and get it planted. That way we could get stuff in the ground, get it growing so people could have stuff to eat, have homegrown stuff.” It doesn’t seem like much to ask, but because of the rain these farmers are all nearly a month behind.
That means less product, and more stress. “We’ve got acres and acres that we can’t even get on to yet. We got on some the other day and now it’s so wet that we’re wondering if the stuff will come up,” says Pickard.
When we consider all the rainfall we’ve had, we’re quick to think about the impact it’s had on the produce, but what about the impact that it’s had on the farm animals?
Casey Koehle of Landry’s Farm has experienced, first hand, what the wet weather can do to the animals. “You don’t want your livestock eating muck, you don’t want them sitting in muck, you don’t want them drinking that because that’s how they’re hydrated, that’s how they’re growing, that’s how they’re getting their nutrients and if it’s being washed and drowned away, how are they growing how are you going to feed your family,” she asks.
Farmers say if we continue with the wet weather, late produce like butternut squash and sweet corn could be scarce, and more expensive than usual.