There hasn’t been a July this dry in recorded history in the Ohio Valley

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)

The drought has turned lawns brown and shriveled home gardens.

But you wouldn’t know it at Ebbert’s Farm Market on National Road in St. Clairsville.

This long-time family-owned business has the same home-grown fare as always, with everything from sweet corn, tomatoes and peaches to sweet peppers, watermelons and new potatoes.

“We have caught a few rains on the fields that we have south of Bethesda that some areas hadn’t got, so that helped us through,” said owner Jerry Ebbert. “It’s a critical time for us, when pumpkins are growing. The pumpkins are sizing right now. Fortunately we caught a rain yesterday. But that’s probably the most critical thing on our farm at this time–to catch a good rainfall so the pumpkins have good size.”

Ebbert said sandy soil tends to allow the rain to drain too quickly.

But he said their farms have more clay-based soil that tends to hold the moisture longer.

He said they got started a bit later this season because of a snowfall on Mother’s Day weekend.

But he said business is even stronger, because people seem more determined to eat locally-grown foods during the pandemic.

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