Drought may impact farmers market prices

Water will remain a major challenge for many growers throughout the summer.
April 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Water will remain a major challenge for many growers throughout the summer. The first day of a new season is always exciting but vendors at a Downtown Fresno farmers market worry how the drought will impact their bottom line.

Live music relaxed shoppers strolling in the shade at The Market on Kern in Downtown Fresno. So many vegetables and fruits are now in season but farmers admit the drought remains in the back of their minds.

Gabby Diaz of Diaz Farms explained, "It is because we have to pay more for the pump to pump out the water and then we can only water on certain days so it does affect it."

Diaz sells an array of sweet citrus including the pink flesh cara cara variety. The prices remain very cheap for freshly picked fruits and vegetables. But Gabby worries some items may increase as we get into the summer. "I think they will go up. We're going to try to keep our prices where were at but I think realistically the prices are going to go up for everyone but we're trying to keep them here so our customers keep coming back."

Touteng Thao also grows pretty flowers to sell alongside his vegetables. He hopes his well doesn't dry up this summer. Thao said, "Like me I'm a small farmer so I only use the wells but I don't see too many problems."

The Market on Kern expects to add more vendors over the next few months. This was the first day of the season at this market held on Wednesdays between 9am and 2pm.

Concerns over water no doubt will last the entire summer. Market manager Rocio Andrade said, "I'm pretty sure all of them are going through tough times but I'm very glad they're able to be out here today and have their produce available to our community."

Farmer Brad Visacki added, "For us not really. We have a pretty good system but I'm sure in the future it will become one of our main concerns."

In the meantime their only concern is to bring you the freshest produce possible.


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