Ly Veng arranges onions
at her stand at the West Bend Farmers’ Market on
Saturday in West Bend. The final Farmers’ Market of the
season in West Bend is Saturday.
Gay Griesbach/For the Daily
bounty of everything from apples to watermelon were
available Saturday at the West Bend Farmers’ Market and
so were growers willing to talk about their season.
much rain, then not enough,” Ly Veng said.
has two fields – one in Racine and one in Oak Creek.
After planting the Racine field, there was so much rain
her crop was a total loss, but Veng said her Oak Creek
field did OK.
Nearly 7 inches of rain fell in Racine County between
July 11-12, washing out roads and fields and prompting
the county to declare a state of emergency.
August, portions of Iowa, central Illinois and southern
Michigan had less than 75 percent of normal
precipitation, according to the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration’s Centers for Environmental
Information. “It was a struggle sometimes to get
planted. It was one of the wettest seasons in 30 years,”
Ray Knapp said.
However, Knapp described the rest of the season as
John McConville of Farm Happy in Jackson sets out more
Gay Griesbach/For the Daily
West Bend area farmer specializes in growing 500 types
of seed tomatoes that are distributed worldwide. In
addition to the watermelon, squash, peppers and turnips
at his stand were cabbages — some weighing more than his
scale, which only goes up to 13 pounds, could measure.
Knapp has already harvested 30,000 pounds of cabbage
from a 3-acre field and has that much more to go.
“We’ll be selling through January,” Knapp said.
Frost is expected in the area this week, the official
end of the growing season. But, in addition to Knapp’s
produce, Barthel Farm on Farmdale Road in Mequon will
have apples available until Christmas .
manager Sue Knudsen said a late frost nipped the lower
branches on the trees, but didn’t have much of an
farm, which grows strawberries, peas, plums, squash and
23 types of apples, was safe from the more damaging
effects of late frosts because of their proximity to
Lake Michigan, Knudsen said.
Usually two weeks behind Madison’s growing season, where
Barthel’s also has a stand at the farmer’s market, this
year milder temperatures put them in line with those
local harvests which are 85 miles away from Lake
While many experienced growers used tried and true crops
and methods, John McConville of Farm Happy in Jackson
spent the season branching out. Known for their spring
mix and tomatoes, they added turnips and wine cap
mushrooms to top off a successful year.
didn’t know turnips were so good,” McConville said.
McConville said they grew the mushrooms, similar to
portabellas, in wood chips in a shady spot between
berries and asparagus and using row covers helped keep
pests off the turnip crop.
West Bend Farmers’ Market has one more date remaining
this season, 7:30-11 a.m. Saturday on the city’s Main