Southside growers fairing well despite recent heavy rains

MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - Wednesday was the first day of the season that the Martinsville Farmer's Market was open on a Wednesday, and while there was plenty of produce and homemade goods to be had, one popular item was noticeably lacking.

"Tomatoes," said Michael Roerre, as he stood next to his stand at the market.

Roerrer said all of the recent rain rotted his early tomato crop. He says this isn't too financially stressful, but now he's hoping for some dry weather so he can salvage what's left.

"Hopefully, that it'll dry up and the later one won't be as bad," Roerrer said. "But, the early crop has got the rot in the bottom of it and it is bad."

Roerrer, though, said overall he's having a pretty good season. "Green beans have been very good, the potatoes have been very good."

He also has a bountiful crop of beets and cucumbers.

"We haven't seen anything detrimental from the rain," said Therese Craddock, referring to the berries she was selling at the market.

She said all of the rain has actually been good for her blueberries and blackberries.

"It's really made our berries very juicy and plump," Craddock explained.

She said she is prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Craddock has an irrigation system in place to water her crops if there isn't enough rain, and if the heavy doses of rain continue her berries should be fine.

"Our blueberries are really pretty resilient and they'll just go with the flow," she pointed out. "Our blackberries are all trellised, so if we have a lot of rain they should be all right because we've got plenty of air flow."

Jason Coombs said his mulch has helped spare him from having to deal with a lot of rot. Like Therese Craddock, he says he's actually benefited from all of the rain.

"The cucumbers have benefited from it, too, because they like an inch of rain a week. So, actually, I think it's helped me out," Coombs said.

The market will be open on Wednesdays from 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. until September 28.

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