Joan Lutchka, market master of the Bushel Basket Market at the Chelsea Fairgrounds, said it's not just apples that were destroyed this year--it's the whole rural culture around them. "All my strawberry growers were wiped out, too," says Lutchka. "Without apples and strawberries here, not as many customers are going to come to this market."
But John Broesamle is undaunted. In May he was determined to find a way to come up with enough money to plant field crops, like pumpkins, so people will still have reason to drive out to the picturesque centennial farm come fall.
"I'm seriously considering coming home to farm full-time," he says. "We're looking at ways to supplement the fruit crop. Tammy wants to build a greenhouse so we can have a vegetable crop by this time next year.
"I can't tell you exactly how yet, but we're going to make it through this."
[Originally published in June, 2012.]