Vendors at the Downtown Waco Farmers Market are seeing the effects of Central Texas’ drought firsthand

The lack of rain plus high temperatures is causing a slow growing season for farmers
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Every Saturday, Downtown Waco is buzzing with fresh produce, products and vendors but as of recent, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market has seen a decrease in produce available as well as vendors willing to sell their produce.

When asked what produce is struggling to grow, Christina Barta with World Hunger Relief said, “a lot of our plants, especially the solanaceous crops like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers just drop all their flowers off when it’s hot outside and we get no fruit said.”

Along with eggplants and peppers, blueberries and peaches are some of the market’s most sought after items when in season but have all fallen victim to the harsh temperatures.

The abnormally hot season has caused other vendors to pull certain produce from the farmers market all together as they weren’t seeing enough growth to last through the season.

“Some of the crops just didn’t make it, because either their water, how much water they actually needed to produce. Or the heat killed it off, all the plants too soon,” said WDFM Director, Bethel Erickson.

With Waco seeing more than 40 days of triple digit heat for 2022, some produce hasn’t even made it past the planting stage.

“We lost all of the cucumbers and the eggplant didn’t set foot like they were supposed to. We didn’t have any peppers because it was too hot and too sunny,” said Barta.

The lack of produce available has caused some vendors to pull their booths completely.

This leads to double the loss for the farmer as they lose out on produce and the ability to make a profit from it.

“Unfortunately, our farmers market stand suffered for a few weeks because we weren’t even here because we didn’t have anything to sell,” said Barta.

As of now, blueberries are out due to growing struggles and peaches are soon to follow.

Melons, which can thrive in dry temperatures are available now and expect a plentiful season.

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