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Produce Farmer Battling Mother Nature
Ron Suttil is keeping busy here in the greenhouses of Suttils Garden.
"Just tomatoes, just transferring them over into single packs," Suttil said. "Normally I've got some of the gallon-sized ones that are three feet tall, but not this year."
All the plants are further behind because of the weather.
"Wet," Suttil said. "It's been wet and cloudy."
That's why he hasn't sold too many plants or seeds to gardeners.
"Well, no, on account of the weather," Suttil said. "It's just been so wet, and cool, you just can't get in the garden."
He hasn't been able to spend much time in his fields either.
"We've got a little bit going outside," Suttil said. "Not very much. Onions, potatoes, fava beans, stuff like that."
Right now those onions are just about underwater.
"Oh, we've pumped about three different days," Suttil said. "40,000, 50,000 gallons of water."
This a big change from the challenges this farm faced in 2012.
"Last year was awfully dry," Suttil said. "It was a lousy year."
Then it was a matter of hauling thousands of gallons of water to the fields.
"Well a lot of watering, yes," Suttil said. "We had to haul a lot of water."
While most farmers may prefer a wet spring, Ron's operation prefers the other kind.
"The dry one," Suttil said. "You can haul water, but pumping it off, that's a lot more work, and it's not so good on the plants and stuff."
As the rain comes down this spring, he can appreciate the greenhouses he put up decades ago.
"Oh, probably the last 25, 30 years," Suttil said. "We used to have what we called hot beds, we just planted in the ground and used manure for heat."
Making sure the produce makes it to market has been his chosen career for well over 50 years now.
"Just born and raised with it," Suttil said. "My dad passed away, and I just took over. I always liked it."
The Old Capitol Farmers Market in downtown Springfield kicks off May 15.
Ron's confident he will have things like asparagus, rhubarb, green onions and radishes to sell in his stand on opening day.
Suttil's Garden also sells plants, seeds, and produce on the farm.
You can find more information on their website by clicking here.
Reporting in Sangamon County, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.