Rainy weather impacting farmers


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Market Square farmers market was busy as always on Saturday.

"We came out to get fresh produce and granola," said Kristi Fandel.

While there was plenty of fruits and vegetables to go around, some farmers are worried that might change if the wet weather continues. That's because they can't pick wet produce.

"If you pick really wet fruit, or green beans for instance, they'll spoil if you pick them wet, let them sit overnight in big hampers. So we have to watch and make sure most of our stuff is dry when we pick," said Danny Shelton, with Shelton Farms.

At Mountain Meadows Farm in Heiskell, peaches, blueberries and tomatoes are cracking from oversaturation.

"What worries us really is that the peach crop is really critical to us and if we have too much waste, it really impacts our bottom line and we've never really encountered peaches splitting before, so I'm not sure how to deal with that," said Shannon Meadows, with Mountain Meadows Farm.

The farm is also dealing with flooding and mold problems because of the rain.

"I'm hoping for a little bit more dry weather. Although we don't want to go on the flip side like we had last year and have drought," said Meadows.

That's why Stephen Harrell, with a Place of the Heart Farm, appreciates the rainy weather.

"So this, even though it's going to slow things down a little bit, it's much better than it not raining at all and us having to expend a lot of energy trying to keep water on the plants. So it's really nice in that sense. I feel like it's going to slow things down a little bit, but I feel like it's going to make everything a lot healthier two or three weeks down the line," said Harrell.

More showers are expected Sunday.


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