gas prices

Soaring Gas Prices Impacting Connecticut Flower Shops, Farms

The financial hardships don't just stop at gas, it's seeping into the prices for supplies.

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The agricultural business is taking a hit as a result of the soaring prices of gasoline and diesel.

The average price for a regular gallon of gas in Connecticut is $4.70, the highest average ever recorded, according to AAA. The rise in gas prices is taking a toll on on local flower shops and farms.

The domino effect of rising prices from heating oil, gas and even fertilizer is pouring on for Lisa Gilbert. She's the owner of Gilbert Farms in Rocky Hill.

Farming is in Gilbert's blood, as her family has been in the agricultural business for 250 years. Sweet corn and tomatoes are some of her biggest crops and require a lot of labor and machinery like tractors.

Gilbert owns two tractors and tells NBC Connecticut both require $100 to fill up and mentions that she's filling them up at least twice a week.

"Definitely up 50% now with the field work with our tractors and paying $6.29 per gallon for diesel fuel," Gilbert said. "It's a little bit more costly to operate."

The financial hardships don't just stop at gas, it's seeping into the prices for supplies.

"The supply chain has affected us, making sure that things available are ordered," Gilbert said.

The struggle of accessing and paying for necessities is a similar problem for Stephen Stanley, who owns Flower Power Farm in East Windsor.

"My soil costs have skyrocketed and the plastic pots, my hanging baskets used to be 65 cents, I think now they're about $1.20," Stanley said.

Stanley mentions that the highest cost right now is fuel. He's been having to make tough decisions like raising prices for some of his flowers.

"We can only raise the price so much before people won't buy our products," Stanley said. "The market is very volatile, just like many other things when it goes up."

Gilbert has made the difficult decision to increase her prices to keep her operation afloat. It's a decision she hopes doesn't turn away customers.

"It makes it very stressful, you wonder if people are going to resist rising costs," Gilbert said. "People are impacted by this as well, they have to feed their families and fill their gas tank up, too."

Stanley mentions that he typically hosts flash sales to ensure his customers are getting more bang for their buck.

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