BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — First the pandemic, now inflation hitting a 40-year high. Millions of Americans are feeling the pinch, including local farmers, often described as the backbone of America.
With it being National Farmers Market Week, NewsChannel 9 stopped by one local farm to find out the challenges they’re facing and overcoming. As many say, farm life is never easy.
“We’ve always had the challenge that we’re seasonal. We are only growing vegetables from June until about October,” says Karin Reeves, manager and co-owner of Reeves Farms in Baldwinsville.
That’s not a lot of time for Reeves Farms in Baldwinsville to make the money they need to cover costs, and the new challenges brought on by COVID-19 and rising inflation add a different beast.
“Unprecedented inflation, that’s something really hard for us to absorb or even plan for. So something like we use, lots of cardboard boxes to pack produce and ship it to grocery stores, some of those boxes have almost doubled in price,” says Reeves.
Their only option is to raise prices on produce, meaning you’ll be paying more for your summer favorites at the store.
Reeves added, “Unfortunately the cost of fuel, fertilizer, plant protection products that we have to use to fight diseases and plants, all of that has gone up, anywhere from 20 to 100 percent.”
Another challenge for the farm is finding people willing to work.
In the last few years, Reeves Farms hasn’t been able to sell at the Central New York Regional Farmers Market in Syracuse because they don’t have enough staff.
“The Regional Market is a great place to get local produce, unfortunately, something had to give and that’s what we decided had to give,” says Reeves.
But they’re hoping to return soon.
“One positive even though we’ve been in a drought here which is difficult for some farmers, we’re lucky on our farm. We have a lot of water, we have the Seneca River here, we’re able to irrigate a lot,” says Reeves.
Reeves Farms fruit stand on West Genesee Road in Baldwinsville is open seven days a week until Labor Day.
Click here to learn more about Reeves Farms.