Closed farmer's market brings trouble to area growers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Closed farmer's market brings trouble to area growers

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Valley farmers are losing money since the Madison County Farmer's Market temporarily closed for the month of May.

"We have a farmer who's field has turned to seed because they told him he couldn't set up. We have another farmer who is picking 50 buckets of strawberries a day. He says what am I going to do with them?" explained Madison County grower Colleen Brooks.

The effects are being felt further than Madison County. Farmers in neighboring counties, even across the state line, say they are also losing out.

"Produce really doesn't wait on anyone. It goes rotten if it isn't sold by a certain date. I think our pigs will be eating good until they open," said Garrett Monks.

The owner of Monks Farms in Lincoln County, Tennessee said they are lucky to have their roadside stand to fall back on.

"We do have another place to sell, but a lot of the farmers don't, so they are probably hurting a lot worse than we are," said Monks.

The closure is a recent decision by the Madison County Commission, after financial troubles came to light.

Chairman Dale Strong said the market lost nearly $70,000 dollars last year, which is why commissioners are working to come up with a new plan that will keep the market open at a lower cost.

"We need to have a decision because everybody has purchased seed, they keep rotating their crops. If they don't have this place, they are going to have to make different choices as to how they are going to grow and where they are going to sell their products," said Brooks.

Strong said the short term plan is to re-open the market June 1 and keep it open until the end of August. County commissioners said they hope to have a permanent plan in place in the near future.

This is not related to the Madison City Farmers Market, which is still open for business.

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