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Local Farmers Adjust to Spring 2012

One Local Grower Says He’s Found A Way to Beat Mother Nature

Local Farmers Adjust to Spring 2012

May 18, 2012

         BINGHAMTON (WENY) --  Mike Harris has been in the produce industry for 39 years.   Besides his knack for growing lettuce, cucumbers and other fruits and veggies, he loves keeping his customers healthy.

        "By buying local, you're not only reducing your carbon footprint," says Harris, owner of Lone Maple Farm.  "You're also getting the nutricious value for your dollar."

        Harris and hundreds of farmers across New York have dealt with tulmultuous weather this spring.  It was one of the warmest Marchs' on record, but normal temps returned for April, damaging some plants starting to bloom.

         Harris decided to build hydroponic greenhouses to grow strong, healthy produce without the risk of unpredictable weather.  Although his outdoor apple and strawberry crops were hurt, he was able to compensate the loss with his greenhouse investment.

       "We made the decision to try the hypronics about ten years ago. As the weather becomes more and more extreme we're very happy that we did," says Harris.

        Sen. Schumer is pushing for grants for local farmers who lost crops, but Harris is one of the lucky ones.  He says he'll always enjoy the outdoors, but is glad to have some control over his produce.

       "Because we are growing stuff in the greenhouse, it's going to have a minor impact."