Frost, then drought cost local farmers

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By Max King
Holt Journal staff writer

HOLT — With poor weather this spring and summer, the Holt Farmer’s Market has seen tough times this fall as sellers struggle.

The warm spring and dry summer has resulted in high amounts of crop loss, especially fruits.

“We had no apple trees this year,” said Russell Rowe, a farmer from Mason who has been coming to the farmer’s market in Holt for 40 years.

Rowe said he has 50 apple trees and none produced any good apples.

Ideal conditions for apples are a warm day and a cool night, according to Rowe, but this year was too dry and hot.

Other fruits have taken a loss because of the hot and dry weather earlier this year, such as peaches, blueberries and cherries.

“I have had to raise the price on all of (my fruit),” said Julie Hoch, a first-time seller at the Holt Farmer’s Market.

Hoch said the hot spring, followed by an unexpected frost, resulted in a large loss of fruit for her.

Hoch, a Charlotte native, is a frequent seller at other farmer’s markets in the Lansing area and has had to rely on pumpkin and squash sales more this year.

The poor weather also affected non-fruit sellers, such as Lorrie Bigham, who sells honey.

Bigham said the drought during the summer cut her honey production significantly.

To produce a lot of honey there needs to be a consistent amount of rainy weather, according to Bigham, who also uses the honey to make soaps and lotions.

Bigham, who lives in Dimondale, has been selling honey and other honey-based products for five years and said this year has been one of the toughest years for honey production.

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