From farm to table in Callaway

Wet weather slows produce, vendors expect to flourish soon in Fulton Farmers Markets

David Brett of Fulton pays for produce as vendor Joan Schwede bags fresh strawberries and broccoli Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot at Sutherland's on U.S. Business 54 in Fulton.

David Brett of Fulton pays for produce as vendor Joan Schwede bags fresh strawberries and broccoli Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot at Sutherland's on U.S. Business 54 in Fulton. Kevin M. Smith

When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables in Callaway County this year, it seems to be feast or famine.

On the hottest day of the year so far — 92 degrees with a heat index of 98 at 4 p.m. Wednesday — vendors at the mid-week farmers market in Fulton groused about a too cool and too wet spring to have a cornucopia of produce they usually have by now. But some expect a bumper crop soon.

“Everything is running a little late,” Stephen Swartwood said.

Swartwood, who lives and grows his produce just outside Fulton, was selling mostly homemade jams and breads alongside a couple heads of cabbage.

Despite the heat and wind, customers stopped by. David Brett of Fulton stopped by Wednesday afternoon specifically to ask for strawberries free from pesticide.

“I was quick to purchase these,” he said.

Brett said he’s not pleased with the controversy in the news about how produce is grown.

“I’m taking steps now to live a better life — healthier lifestyle, eating better,” Brett said.

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