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Farmer's Markets Seeing the Effects of Wet Spring

photo of Chuck Croasmun, Amanda Decaro
Chuck Croasmun and Amanda Decaro own Alchemy Market Garden in Medina County. They say this year's severe weather has cost them one hoophouse as well as their zucchini crop.

Extreme weather in Northeast Ohio this year is having an impact on vendors at some Northeast Ohio farmers markets.

Several vendors were absent from the Hudson Farmer's Market on Saturday due to excessive heat. And several of the ones who were there with produce say they have fewer goods to sell due to this spring’s heavy rains.

Peter Gaffney owns Martha’s Farm in Ashland and said his potato crop was down about 10 percent. But fields where they grow strawberries and carrots were largely unaffected since they recently installed new drainage systems – something he feels other farmers will have to invest in in the future.

“It pays itself off in five years to have good drainage. And I can tell where I didn’t put it in – around my grass yard [and] around my apple trees – and I wish that I had.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency last month declared several southern Ohio counties as major disaster areas due to heavy rains and tornadoes. And last week, that was expanded to include Columbiana and Mahoning Counties in Northeast Ohio.

Amanda Decaro owns Alchemy Market Garden in Medina County. She said the rain delayed the start of their season by more than a month.

“We had so much rainfall near our greenhouses that it actually loosened the soil and one of our hundred-foot hoop houses was ripped out of the ground. So normally, we would be ahead with tomatoes and peppers, but we’re just starting to get produce in.”

Bradwood Farm, in Ashland County, is hydroponic – but they said the rain still affected them since it has brought so many overcast days to the region, which has affected their lettuce crop.


Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.