Another weekend of rain challenges farmers

Farmers all over the Hudson Valley are struggling to make ends meet because of the rain.

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Oct 21, 2023, 2:13 AM

Updated 238 days ago

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Farmers all over the Hudson Valley are struggling to make ends meet because of the rain.
"Farmers, we live and die by the weather. We need the weather for growing and we need the weather for selling and, unfortunately, this year, we didn't have the weather for selling," says Robert Stuart, owner of Stuart's Farm.
Stuart owned the Granite Springs Farm for 51 years and says that every weekend counts. His last seven weekends included rain.
"Once you lose a weekend, most of it you won't get back," he said. "It's probably the worst I've ever seen."
Rain means fewer visitors and half of last year's income.
"We couldn't do hayrides because it would destroy the orchard. We couldn't do a corn maze because it's a sea of mud," Stuart added. "We only have so many weekends to make it in."
It's why farmer's market director Pascale Le Draoulec keeps her five Westchester markets open rain or shine.
"For the farmers, this is their chance," Le Draoulec said.
She says many of them are adapting to global warming, learning to farm in the winter, but fall still brings the most customers.
"So many rainy Saturdays in a row, now it's a question of morale," Le Draoulec said.
It's why her Saturday market in Hastings will have a crazy, colorful umbrella contest this week.
"We'll have fun with it because what choice do we have? This is the new normal. We have to get used to this," she said.
Stuart's Farm does offer cut-your-own Christmas trees in December if you want to help support them and there are a few year-round farmer's markets, too.


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