Farmers markets open, some crops late
FINGER LAKES, May 25—The wet April and May weather has pushed the planting season back a month, which is a problem for area farmers looking to sell produce at soon to be open farmers’ markets.
Marcia Bauchle, owner of Straightway Farms in Montour Falls, said the rain has set many crops back by a month. Straightway Farms sets up at the Watkins Glen Farmers’ Market. The rainy weather means some produce may not be grown at all this year. For example, Bauchle said she didn’t plant a variety of peas this year because it would not be fully grown until the end of July; that variety would not handle the heat for that time of year.
“There’ll be less produce if it keeps raining,” she said.
Bauchle said people can expect to see green vegetables though at farmers’ markets. She explained those are planted early in the season. So if a farmer was able to do any planting, those would have been the first seeds in the ground. She added asparagus, as a vegetable that does not need to be replanted each year, will also have grown this year.
Bauchle added Hoop Houses, a type of green house, and overwintering, letting produce hibernate in the ground during the winter, helped Straightway Farms to grow vegetables for this season. Another option is to start growing vegetables in pots. Bauchle said late last week she decided to plant some cucumbers and squash in pots and transfer them into the ground when the weather improves.
Pat Kersten, a Wayne County farmer who sells produce at The Windmill, joked her vegetables need lifesavers and her peas are doing the backstroke. However, she added is seriousness that she hasn’t been able to plant much yet.
Matthew Glenn, owner of Muddy Fingers Farm in Hector, said he recorded rainfall for seven straight days last Friday. He said he rotates using his acreage for crops, but the rain will make him change that this year. Glenn added it’s not just the rain, but also the cool weather that turned this into a poor start to the growing season.
He too said the weather will mean less produce at farmers’ markets during these first few weeks. Glenn added they just need a few nice days of sun to get some more planting done.
“I think we’re all in the same boat,” he said.