Wed August 1, 2012
Vegetable farmers hurting from summer heat
Some southern Wisconsin vegetable farmers have lost a lot of their crops so far this year and are hoping at the very least for decent fall crops.
Tim Huth is owner of LotFotL (Living Off the Fat of the Land) Community Farm in Elkhorn. He says the biggest problem this year - due the lack of rain, heat, and at his farm a lot of wind- is that the seeds just won't germinate, "We've lost lots and lots of crops, we've lost all of our summer and all of our fall broccoli to date, all of our fall cabbage, we've replanted all of it so there's some hope for fall. In the interim on top of the loss we can't get even radish seeds to germinate in the ground with even some rudimentary irrigation."
Huth says he's having difficulty providing variety to his CSA customers this summer. He also says they haven't been able to sell much to restaurants and grocery stores, which he says is an important source of income.
Bob Borchardt is co-owner of Harvest Moon Farms in Viroqua. He runs a CSA and sells wholesale greens to the Chicago market. He says his chard, kale, and collards were wiped out by the heat and limited irrigation. Borchardt says his business is hurting, "Overall, on the wholesale side we shipped about 20 percent of what we had hoped in the first part of the year."
Borchardt says some of his restaurant clients have actually been holding fundraisers to help out his farm. Both Borchardt and Huth of LotFotL say the bright spot this summer is the tomato crop, which has done pretty well in the heat. Borchardt says some of his restaurant clients have actually been holding fundraisers to help out his farm. Both Borchardt and Huth of LotFotL say the bright spot this summer is the tomato crop, which has done pretty well in the heat.