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WEB EXTRA: Local Farmers Make Most of Thin Blackberry Crop

Despite late season freezes taking their toll on Charlie-Thornberry farmers' crops, they didn't let that stop them from treating market-goers with something sweet to eat.
Charlie Thornberry Farmers Market Association along with Downtown Proud hosted the first Downtown Farmers Market Festival of the year Saturday, which showcased the farmers' seasonal fruits, vegetables, and melons galore.

Along with shopping for some fresh produce, shoppers also gobbled down 100 pounds of homemade blackberry cobbler during the festival.

"My husband was actually eating the blackberry cobbler and he was ignoring me and not even talking to me because he was smacking on that so we'll definitely have to buy some of that later," says local shopper Mareta English.

Farmers say due to several freezes during spring, crops like blackberries haven't grown to their full potential and weren't ready to be sold to the public.

"We should have already been into one blackberry variety. We should have been covered up by blackberries but because of the late frost that we've had, it killed off the blooms of the first variety but we will have blackberries but we're just gonna have the later varieties." says Young's Orchard co-owner Jan Young.

Though not having some crops ready for the festival did effect their income, in just a few weeks, they will have the later variety of blackberries ready to be picked, sold, and eaten.

"Peaches you can't recoup that but everything else we can replant and you know we've done that so we would have had stuff even earlier than now, now we're starting to get stuff in now," says Morath's Orchard co-owner Becky Morath.

Though farmers say Mother Nature wasn't on their side this season, their spirits still remain high.

"We do this because we like to do this for a living and it's nice that they city of Wichita Falls supports us in doing it so thank you." Morath says.    
    
With Blackberry Day in the past, farmers now look to the next festival day which will be Market to the Menu on June 15.
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