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Local farmers struggle with large rain amounts

Despite the rain, several local vendors set up shop at the Columbia Farmers Market on Saturday. More than 70 vendors brought a variety of food, including homegrown lettuce and jars of honey.

Corrina Smith, the Market Manager at the Columbia Farmers Market, told ABC 17 the weather brought smaller crowds on Saturday.

However, the rain also affects the farmers’ ability to produce crops. Farmers normally talk about the dry conditions and needing the rain to grow crops, but Jim Thomas, Jr., a local organic farmer, said there is such a thing as too much rain.

“Ideally, you want an inch of rain every week and sunshine in between, but we never get that,” Thomas said. “It seems like anymore we get feast or famine. It either doesn’t rain for two months or rains every day for two months.”

Thomas said cold temperatures earlier in the season followed by a dramatic heat increase dried out his land. Now, the rain won’t stop and it keeps him from planting any new seed.

“The weather is always a challenge in Missouri,” Thomas said. “Somebody said if you can grow vegetables in Missouri, you can grow them anywhere. It seems like there’s something new every year – something changes that kind of makes you wonder and scratch your head.”

He said as long as the seed sprouts, he hopes his customers will keep coming back for more.

Market vendors only accept cash. However, if you forget to bring money or you want to use food stamps, the market has a booth set up where you can turn those into usable cash. They’ll give you tokens that all vendors accept.

Smith said the amount of food stamp users has doubled in the last year.

Click the following link for more information on the Columbia Farmers Market selling times and dates.

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