Farmers Say Lingering Cold Weather Made a Slow Grow for Crops

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SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Thursday was opening day for the Hillside Park Farmers Market near Clarks Summit and while there was only a handful of vendors, farmers were eager to get out and show their goods.

“We grow a little bit of everything,” said Sam Bullock from Back Achers Farm. “We grow leafy greens, we grow everything from onions to cucumbers to tomatoes.”

After a long winter season that seemed it wasn`t going away, it appears spring is finally here.

Bullock says the cold stunted the growth of his produce.

“We're getting there, it's slow going but we're getting there and we're going to have stuff just a little bit later than normal, that's all,” said Bullock. “It's less income early on in the year.”

“From what I've been hearing the low temperatures have caused delays in cucumbers and tomatoes, lettuces seem to be doing okay,” said Nicole Weichert, who manages the farmers market.

She expects vendor turnout to light early on.

“We have vendors coming in later in the season than they typically would, just because they don`t know when they`re going to have anything, what they`re going to have at this point,” said Weichert.

Jennifer Seward from Maple Hill Farm and Apiary raises honeybees.

She says the lingering winter weather wasn`t doing them any favors as bees don`t make honey when it`s cold.

“They kind of go into a hibernation state and come springtime that's when you start to see them out again,” said Seward. “We were eager for spring to arrive definitely.”

“We had snow Tuesday, Monday and Tuesday, actually,” said Nicki Repchick with Wyldflower Farms.

She has a garlic farm up near of Montrose.

She`d rather put up with cold weather over rainy weather any day.

“Last year the weather was a big issue for a lot of garlic growers,” said Repchick. “It was just too wet some people had their whole crop ruined by all of the water.”

The Hillside Park Farmers Market is now open every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in South Abington Township.

1 Comment

  • Rusty Knyffe

    No kidding and it’s got to be hard on these farmers. The cold weather crops have done okay – the peas will be great. But, it’s been a tough past few years for the tomatoes, peppers, and the other hot weather plants. Hopefully, the farmers will be seeing some income, soon.

    At least (so far, anyway) the orchards are moving along. Two years ago, we had that mid-May hard freeze that killed off all of the orchard blossoms. That was terrible!

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