Local crops hit by exceptionally cold winter
by Hannah Morgan
April 07, 2014 12:01 AM | 1025 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

MARIETTA — As temperatures rise after a long, cold winter, local farmers say Mariettans should expect to start seeing some spring produce within the next few weeks at the weekend farmers markets on the Square.

Farmers say the cold weather will mean a late spring and summer crop, with many spring vegetables not expected to emerge until later this month.

Marietta’s Saturday farmers market set up shop each weekend through the winter, and the Sunday market, which closed for the winter season in November, starts April 6.

Many of the farmers who sell both Saturdays and Sundays at the market live in Cobb or Cherokee counties and drive into Marietta each weekend to sell their goods. After a tough winter that brought two snowstorms, farmers say they are waiting for the ground to warm up to start planting for the spring and summer markets.

Bill Yoder grows squash, cucumbers, lettuces, peppers and hundreds of varietal heirloom tomatoes on his 1-acre plot in Canton.

“With the long winter, I would suspect everything is going to be a week or two later than normal,” Yoder said.

Yoder has kept busy all winter collecting seeds to grow more than 800 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and this year, for the first time, Yoder will be selling the seeds to a new line of heirloom tomatoes he created.

He works as an IT software engineer and for the last 10 years has worked the land in Canton as well. Yoder has not suffered through a winter like this one before, and he is glad he planted his crops in raised beds above the freezing ground. He has built greenhouses over the raised beds, and this winter, Yoder and his family covered the beds with blankets to keep the crops from freezing.

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