If it seems like the heat has been relentless this summer, that's because it has been. In fact, with just one day left in July, we’re on track to close out the month as the second hottest July on record. The weather is impacting local farmers.
"We've been doing significantly more irrigation than we've done in the past,” explained Jacob Conover, the Farm Manager at Silverman’s Farm in Easton. “Specifically with our blueberries and our vegetable crops."
Local farmers have been making up for Mother Nature's lack of rain by pumping out more water than usual, which works for some crops, but at Silverman’s Farm in Easton, tree fruit like apples and peaches don't have an irrigation system with any real means of watering other than rain.
"We're definitely going to see some effects of the dry weather when it comes to the fruit size and just the overall crop of the fruit," said Conover.
While some impacts are already visible, the dry hot summer could also have a long term effect.
"It can effect sort of the longevity of the plants,” said Andy Billipp of Eddy Fam in Newington. “And you know that stress can come out in either less resistance to pests and disease which generally hit a little later in the summer."
But our local farmers are resilient and so are their employees. The heat is bothersome to more than just the plants. It can make for some difficult conditions at the Eddy Farm Stand in Newington.
"That is a no frills structure down there. So it's basically a little shed. There's no power, no running water or anything like that," said Billipp. "They've been working out in 95 degree heat and everyone has a positive attitude no one's complaining. I mean it is a thing we have to keep in mind you know making sure everyone is staying hydrated."
While battling the heat and changes to business amid COVID-19, local farmers are still getting creative and finding ways to deliver the fresh products you love most. In just a few weeks, Silverman’s farm will be inviting shoppers to the big top.
Irv Silverman of Silverman’s farm explains, "It will give people a lot more space outside to get all their fresh fruits and vegetables without going into the market where we are pretty strict on how many people can go in."