Industry officials hope budget cuts don't kill 'buy-local' movement in New Jersey

05/27/2009 09:29:24 AM
Abraham Mahshie

Ben Casella, field representative for the New Jersey Farm Bureau, Trenton, said wet weather has caused a slight planting delay.

“It’s a wetter weather spring than normal. It doesn’t hurt because it replenishes some of the aquifers and the ponds for irrigation, because we rely heavily on irrigation,” he said.

“A couple days’ hit in the 90s created a push on the asparagus, but nothing that would lead us to have any economic impact on the crop.”

Vince Consalo, president of Wm. Consalo & Sons Farms Inc., Vineland, N.J., said the cold weather didn’t harm crops, but will make them hardier. Wm. Consalo & Sons grows herbs, spinach, leeks and romaine, red leaf and green leaf lettuce.

“All it did was made them grow at a slower pace, and that’s why we’re a little behind from last year,” he said. “It’s better to grow the stuff in cooler weather — it just grows a lot slower.”

Sam Pipitone, president of F&S Produce Co., Rosenhayn, N.J., agreed a cooler spring delays the start-up, but subsequent heat waves have made up for lost time. Nonetheless, some farmers have been taking matters into their own hands.

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