Farmers Hopeful for Warmer Temperatures 

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SLOCUM TOWNSHIP -- This spring has been cold and rainy, and some parts of the area actually saw snow Sunday.

It’s not the ideal weather for growing anything outside. We stopped at one farm in Luzerne County, where it has been an ongoing battle with the weather and trying to get fruits and vegetables planted.

At Covered Wagon Produce in Luzerne County, owner Tom Strzelecki grows thousands of fruits and vegetables every year. The business near Wapwallopen is a vendor at the farmers market in Scranton every summer. In order to make a good profit at the farmers market, his crops need to grow. So far, it has been a challenge this month.

"We've had a total of maybe five working days the entire month where we should be working the entire day," Strzelecki said.

For some crops, the weather has been great. The peach trees are weeks ahead of schedule. Other parts of the farm are still trying to dry out from all the rain. Not just the rain, but the cold has played a role in the time it’s taking for the vegetables to start growing.

"The growth on here should be about three times the size of what it actually is right now," said Strzelecki.

Jane Strzelecki, Tom's mother, helps with the plants inside the greenhouse. There are all kinds of vegetables ready to go outside. The weather just hasn't been warm enough.

"We usually plant after the 15th of May because normally there is no frost at that time so these will all be going out and being planted," Jane Strzelecki said.

The corn that was planted about three weeks ago would normally be about twice the size it is right now.

Even with protective covers, the chilly air has managed to impact the sweet corn. Strzelecki says despite it being a challenging spring in the fields, it could turn out to be a great season overall.

"This kind of cool weather will give you some of the nicest quality product because it's growing slow and it has plenty of moisture, so you're not going to have any drought stress."

For some perspective, the first half of May last year was about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than this year.


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