Farmers' Markets Try to Weather the Drought
The drought is causing worry for farmers with struggling crops this year. That's making them have even more concerns for next year. But farmers' markets like the ones in Reno and Sparks help keep them going.
"If we don't get rain next year, there's going to be a big problem. Food's going to be scarcer, prices are going to rise. Almonds, trees are going to die. It's a scary deal," said Peter Cipponeri of Cipponeri Family Farms.
"We're watering every other row of trees. The biggest thing on the drought is if you're a farmer, if you have row, you cannot row crops. If you have trees, it takes 7,8,9 years to get crops off some varieties of trees," said William Minton of Minton Family Farms.
William Minton of Minton Family Farms says they're down half of what their normal water usage used to be.
"We're going to drip irrigation and micro jets. Not flood irrigating like we used to," said Minton.
Some farmers have raised their prices slightly as a result of the drought.
"Next year we'll really see that, because everyone has been able to drill wells and irrigate and get by with a limited amount of surface water. Next year we're talking about no surface water," said Cipponeri.
Despite the drought and some prices rising, shoppers we talked to say it doesn't change their minds from buying from farmers' markets.
"I would prefer doing fresh and doing things like this than going to a store. Because I mean, you can look at it here and you can see raspberries and strawberries and things like that. In a store it would normally be 4, 5, or 6 dollars for something, where you can actually get by the pound here and get the same amount," said Kellie Ledbury from Sparks.
But farmers are concerned about losing business from customers in the future.
"Fuel prices go up and people have to pay them. Fruit prices, there's a point at which they just stop. They won't eat it," said Minton.
That's why farmers are appreciative of any profit they can get at farmers' markets.
"Keep coming to the farmers' markets because its what keeps us going. It's hard, it's hard as a farmer so we need support, we need you to show up and buy it," said Minton.
39 North Marketplace is in Sparks at Victorian Square June 11 - August 20 with the exception of Hot August Nights during the week of August 8.
Shirley's Farmers' Markets is in Reno at the Sands Casino off of Arlington Avenue. They are open June 11 - August 27.
Both are on Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m.