Rain isn’t kind to local farmer’s market vendors

Local

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The rain may be hurting more than just summer plans. Local farmer’s markets are taking a hit too.

Firefly Farm, located in east Sedgwick County, grows and sells various produce to local chefs and restaurants. It also hosts its own summer farmer’s markets.

Firefly, like many market vendors, were hit hard by the recent wet weather.

“We were out in the middle of the rainstorm digging drainage trenches to try to slough the water out of the growing field,” explained Firefly Farm owner/operator Leah Dannar-Garcia.

The farm lost one-fifth of it’s crops.

“Luckily, we had enough starter plants, where we could pull the damaged plants and replant, and we weren’t hurt significantly by that,” said Dannar-Garcia.

The rain also created fewer planting days for the crops ready to grow but had to stay in the greenhouse.

“We should’ve been finished by mid-May,” said Dannar-Garcia.

Firefly’s last crop was planted Wednesday morning.

It’s no secret that farmers are resilient, and Dannar-Garcia found ways to fight mother nature.

Firefly growers and operators built a few caterpillar tunnels on the farm. The greenhouse helped moderate sunshine, water, temperatures and wind.

“What that allows us to do is to raise bumper crops and so that’s very exciting to us,” Dannar-Garcia said.

Although there were negative impacts from the rain, the farm operator said there’s been a positive impact.

With many local vendors being affected, there’s been less produce out on the markets. Less produce means less competition for Firefly Farm.

“We’re able to get top-dollar for our products because there’s not as rigged of competition, and so we’re actually recording record prices on our produce,” she said.

Firefly Farm starts farmer’s markets on July 7. Stay up to date with them on Facebook.

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