In the last couple weeks we farmers have been talking. At times we each can feel alone on our own farms, lamenting our own personal vegetable failures and wondering why it is us who have such uniquely poor fortune. But the reality is that the weather has affected all farms equally and we're all in the same boat.
One neighbor, who usually buys in vegetables from many other farmers (including me!) to supplement their CSA, has been forced for the first time to rely solely on their own vegetables–their usual sources have nothing extra to part with.
I called a friend up the road to check in with her farm, and to see if she might have anything to sell extra later on in case I needed it; she reported, “Nope, we don't have anything here either–except a boatload of winter squash, for some reason.”
I hear tell of another farm, who was forced by lack of vegetables to give a pepper and a cucumber to some of their smaller shares, that's it. Somewhat extreme, perhaps, but an indication of the dire straights some of us were in.
It's the same story even as far away as New England. I took a trip up that way over the weekend and happened to meet another farmer, and you can probably guess what we discussed. I asked him, in the way that farmers make small talk, how the weather had been for him up there. “Oh, terrible, the worst season we've had in 20 years,” was his reply. I told him that yeah, we were doing all right most of the season--spinach even came up well in the summer, a great stand of spinach but then it rained for two weeks with the hurricane and most of it evaporated. “Same here,” he says, “Same here.” Two universal farmer complaints: weather and spinach.