That all changed on June 29th when we had a major thunderstorm that came up from the south and swept through Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. This storm flooded farmers' fields and brought in a favorable environment -moderately warm, humid, wet weather- for a pathogen called Phytophthora infestans. This pathogen is referred to as late blight, and it affects plants like potatoes and tomatoes. Acres of crops can quickly fall victim.
|Tomato plants showing signs of late blight|
Lettuce was also affected by the June storm. Two weeks prior, we were receiving beautiful heads of leaf lettuce from Yarnick's Farm in Indiana, PA. This lettuce was the first FarmSource produce item that we featured on the salad bar for 2013. Lettuce has always been sourced from California, and this was the first year it was sourced locally. Unfortunately, the storm I referred to earlier wiped out the entire crop, and our inaugural year of local lettuce was cut short.
The end of the growing season is coming to a close and though it was a challenging summer, we're happy to report that the farms that we purchase from made it through successfully. We're already working together to plan for 2014.We have some really creative local items in the queue for next year, so stay tuned!
Until next time,