Longview Farmers Market Closes Early - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/30/07-Longview

Longview Farmers Market Closes Early

For 35 years, people from Gregg and surrounding East Texas counties have come to the Longview fairgrounds every May through August for the best fresh produce from the Farmers Market. But today they closed shop. A victim, like many others, of too much rain.

"We got a lot of rain this year and a lot of things didn't grown as good as others" said Camp County farmer Lois Johnson.

"We just do the best we can. We deal with what mother nature gives us," said Farmers Markets president and Mike Page.

Normally the market would be selling well into August, and for many it's a substantial part of their income.

"I hate to see it close, but then I guess it's for the best because the produce is about over with" Johnson said.

So much rain and so little sunshine has effected all East Texas farmers. The ground is saturated and the plants can't generate enough quality produce.

"If we were to stay open three more weeks, the produce would start looking bad, in my opinion.  It would not keep with the high quality we like to show," Page said.

Crops all over Texas have been devastated by floodwaters. Today's closing surprised many who had been coming to the market for years.

"These people know how to grow vegetables. I'll just have to use frozen stuff, or I'll have to take it off the shelf," said Marshall shopper Glen Walters.

Farmers say they'll lose 50 percent of their crops.

"From the time we close now to the time we open, we'll be dedicated to improving the market," Page said.

The farmers won't know the financial impact of the early closing for a couple of weeks, but they expect it to be minimal.

Bob Hallmark bhallmark@kltv.com

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