Summer swelter offers its share of challenges for local farms

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MIDDLEFIELD-- After the peach crop was ruined by a short but destructive cold snap in the winter, the grips of a heat wave are a formidable foe for John Lyman, the eight generation owner of Lyman Orchards.

Despite the current hot weather, Lyman says, thus far he's been pleased with what he's seen on his 1,100 acres this summer.

"Obviously if it stays as dry as it is for a lot longer things will be impacted," Lyman said, "but at this stage compared to last year I think we are in better shape."

Lyman mentioned that his farm has benefited from hit-and-miss showers that have mostly hit his farmland.

"We do have irrigation and we will irrigate drying this dry weather but we don't have everything irrigated so we really do rely on natural rain."

With blueberry and raspberry picking season in full swing, Lyman said he is looking forward to pears and apples, as well as a soon to be completed giant sunflower maze.

"This is typical summer weather so lets enjoy it," Lyman said.

Meanwhile, every Friday in Hartford Andrew Gibson sets up his table and sells artisan bread at the farmers market in front of the Old State House. Gibson noted that warm temperatures do cause a dip in business for him.

"We can't escape it," Gibson said. "Everyone will probably stay indoors."

Back in Middlefield, Lyman says the current summer swelter is all about how you look at it. "In the winter we always wish for this weather, we got it."

To find out more about picking season and the sunflower maze at Lyman Orchards click here