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Farmers Market Bites the Dust Due to Drought

Posted February 27, 2008
Updated October 20, 2011

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— The drought is causing the Warren County Farmers Market to shut down. The owners said they can't keep up with rising produce costs brought on by a lack of rain in the area.

Owners James and Ella Perry said the Farmers Market was their whole world.

“This is more than a business to me. It's a privilege to serve the people,” James Perry said.

“It's more or less like a friendly, meeting-and-greeting-people (place),” Ella Perry said.

The Perrys have run the mainstay produce shop for five years, but Thursday they will close up shop for good.

It is “on account of the drought,” Ella Perry said.

The Perrys buy their goods from area farmers. The farmers have increase their prices, which forced the Perrys to drive up theirs, which the Perrys said goes against everything they stand for.

“A farmers market should be a lower price,” Ella Perry said.

Even with "a little, small increase, you really get a lot of criticism when you try to sell it,” Bobby Isles said.

Isles sold the Perrys collard greens. His prices went up 25 percent due to the drought.

Isles said it costs nearly twice as much to water his crops as it did two years ago. That extra cost trickles down to consumers.

“It's a sad day to see a good business go out of business,” customer Walter Yarborough said.

The Perrys said the first thing they plan to do after the Farmer's Market shuts down is take a long-awaited vacation.

5 Comments

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  • ptahandatum Feb 28, 2008

    Get ready folks. This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The drought is only a small part of the equation, but when you factor in the price of fuel, oil, grease for the farming operations, then things take on quite a different look. Couple this with the farmer's land becoming more appealing to developers, and you have a recipe for our dinner tables' disaster. I've already seen farmers sell their land for several million dollars - much more than they can make staying in farming, and here comes something none of us want. No land to grow crops, yet you can grow houses, condimoaniums (spelling done on purpose), strip malls, anything you can name, but no food. The day will come when we will not be able to have the kinds of meals we once were accustomed to, simply because there is no one of the old school of thought to farm anymore. This is a sad state of affairs we are getting ready to stare in the face.

  • ifcdirector Feb 28, 2008

    It's ok as long as we keep paying China to grow tainted pesticide laden crops and seafood for our markets if they are cheaper right. Vote with your dollars and try to buy local produce and seafood because those dollars don't just stay in America but they stay right here in NC too. This is a very sad story.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 28, 2008

    I love going to the farmers market. But with the prices rising higher and higher because of the drought, it makes you wonder what is going to happen to the other farmers that bring their goods to the Farmers Market. I too am sadded that the Perry family had to close. I hope that is not the case with the rest of the farmers who bring their goods to the Farmers Market.

  • drsickles Feb 28, 2008

    You make a good point, Shine, but regardless of the cause I'm saddened to see this impact on the steadily waning farming community.

  • shine Feb 28, 2008

    The drought made the supply and demand suffer, but the spike in fuel prices is what has driven the cost of goods to increase. I hate to see local business suffer like this.