Austin, TX (PRWEB) August 12, 2007
Record rainfall in Austin this summer caused many local farmers to lose significant amounts of their crops. Local organic delivery service, Greenling, has helped these farmers through the turbulent growing season.
Rain is typically considered a friend to the Texan farmer, a friend whose absence last summer caused $4.1 billion in crop and livestock drought losses. This summer it is the excess of rain that has some left local farmers hurting.
The abnormal rain levels, which were caused by a low pressure system over Texas interacting with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, destroyed crops across the state. "It reached a point where it was pretty grim," said Gene Hall, director of public relations for the Texas Farm Bureau, "[Texas farmers] were expecting a bumper crop when we got that timely spring rain, but it never stopped."
"I lost about five different plantings since January," said Sonny Naeglin, owner of Naeglin farms "we'd start to harvest plants and we'd lose them because of the rain, we lost about 95 percent of our crops." Naeglin's crops, which include organic squash, okra, herbs watermelons and cantaloupes, were so diminished that he had a very hard time sustaining his farm. The low product levels made it hard to sell to grocery stores which often have a set minimum for purchases.
Naeglin was not the only farmer affected by the rain. Montesino Farms, which grows organic tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers to name a few, had to sacrifice a large amount of their produce. "Because of the rain our plants all ended their seasons early," said Montesino farmer Becca Ivey "we got about 20 percent of the yield we were expecting." Plants which were not destroyed by the rain had to be harvested sooner than expected, making them difficult to sell.
Organic delivery service, Greenling, assisted local farmers through the wet summer. "Greenling helped a bunch" Said Naeglin "when you have no cash flow, you're down, and they bought the majority of my stuff." Greenling, which supplies local goods from its internet based company, was able to purchase organic goods from local suppliers who otherwise would have had difficulty selling them. "Greenling definitely helped out," said Ivey "the fact that we could bring them a large percentage of our goods was reassuring. It was nice to be able to move a mass of produce at one time."
"Pretty much every farmer we talked to, in varying degrees, was hurt by the rain," said the founder of Greenling, Mason Arnold "whether it flooded their crops or just increased bug populations." Despite the wavering product levels, Greenling continued buying from the farmers. "One of the things we were able to do because of our business model was even if they had a smaller amount we would take that" said Arnold "we didn't have any minimum, we would combine what they had with other small farmers."
The Austin based company, which started in 2005, currently supports 13 local farms. They highlight local goods to their clientele by offering a "local box" which offers various products from the Austin area. Greenling also delivers a variety of fresh organic products from across the United States.
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