Heat Adversely Affecting Local Farmers

By: Danielle Eldredge Email
By: Danielle Eldredge Email


The heat we've all been experiencing, could threaten local farmer's livelihoods.

Farmers are working hard to win a fight against Mother Nature.
Bell Farms is a long time family tradition.

"Daddy’s been doing it for forty years and then granddaddy did it before him...so it's a lifelong family farm...I was born and raised here. And when I got married I moved down the road to the original house my granddaddy built in '67," said David Bell, part owner of Bell Farms.
Unfortunately, the land, and the family who lives and works on it, is suffering through a hot summer.

"We’re in one of the spots that hasn't received a whole lot of rainfall in the last month," said Bell.

“In a summer as hot as this one...what do you do to make sure your plants are taken care of?” asked reporter, Danielle Eldredge.

“This is one type of irrigation that we've got here and it's a black tape...it's called grip tape...and when you fill it up with water it fills right up and it has holes in it every 12 inches and you lay it down beside the plants, and actually this is covered up...but then when you turn the water on it just wets the ground and you leave it on for a couple hours and it wets the ground right around the routes," said Bell.

It seems easy enough, but there are drawbacks to irrigating.

“It just makes it a lot harder because the more we're having to irrigate and pump water and all, you know that's more expenses in the crop then we're trying to get out of it,” said Bell.

“Here at Bell Farms watermelon is one of their most popular crops and they have many different varieties...this one here is called a Diablo watermelon and it originates from Arizona. It was originally made to help withstand the harsh conditions of the desert and it can do that because it has a little film on it that helps protect it from the sun," said Eldredge.

Despite tough times, the bell family is determined to persevere.

“We've got a real loyal customer base that know when they pull up on the market and see bell or see one of trucks or something...ya know we've got good quality produce," said Bell.

The best way to try some of Bell's produce yourself is to go to one of our local farmers’ markets.

If you want it fresher than that, Bell says you can go over to his farm and pick it yourself.

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