The Woes of a Produce Grower

I talk to a good number of growers each week as Farm to Market Coordinator.  This has been an interesting first year for our expanded produce distribution.  The challenge of any farmer is always the weather.  This year has left most produce growers through the state hanging on to the hope of the next season.  The beauty of farming is sometimes in knowing that at the end of the season the slate is wiped clean and a period for rest and regrouping allowed, before the fun begins again.  This years season close will come as a true relief to many produce growers around the state of Indiana.  It feels good as I look around my own produce plots to know that others struggle along side us.  While corn and soybeans benefited from an early rainy season, that same rainy season kept organic or natural produce growers out of the field during a critical time of continued planting and weed management.  The result is low productivity and crop failures now, 8 weeks later.  The rain last night was so relished as much of the area has moved into the typical August draught which makes it hard to get those fall crops going.  Yet so  many growers I talk to have great hopes for good fall crops to make up for this time of low production now.  I appreciate my job in that I get to keep up with what is happening with our local food supply.  I love being an encourager to those that grow our food here.  I love the success after not being sure that I will meet the order at hand but then having one of our alliance farmers come through with a great crop.  The team work of a group of farmers is what holds us together in my book.  Remember we all have to eat and we depend on those that grow the food that feeds us.  For this, pass along a great thanks to those that are growing your food this season.  They need it.  I hope you know your growers.  If not, let me introduce you to some, so we can say thank you together.