Because growing season in northwest Pennsylvania lasts for only four months, farmers in this area have began to use raised tunnels to shelter crops from the intense cold that would otherwise prevent them from growing.
But, these tunnels need to be replaced every four years, and the cost of plastic has recently doubled. High prices have also affected the cost of necessities like fuel, natural gas, diesel, and product packaging. Such developments suggest this upcoming year may be a difficult one for many producers, especially those who operate on a small scale.
Climbing material costs present a serious threat to the survival of organic farms across the state.
The price of food is more than just the cost of a vegetable. Shopping local is one of the simplest ways consumers can help offset the record expenses small farmers face. This puts more money directly into the pockets of hardworking farmers instead of going to big businesses.
Article by Local Roots contributor Jess Santoro // @jess_santoro
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