Local farmers concerned about rising gas prices




Posted on March 5, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 6 at 3:56 PM

SEATTLE - Seattle is the home of nearly a dozen community farmers' markets and some of those farmers travel up to 400 miles one way just to get here.

Small farmers don't get into this business for the money, but as gas prices soar, so will their prices.

Wade Bennett has been making and selling organic apple cider for 20 years.

"We come to Seattle every weekend for three markets," he said.

Bennett drives in from Enumclaw, a trip that may soon cut into what has already been a tough season.

"Two years ago people would buy things with $20 bills, today they're buying with quarters, ones and fives," he said. 

Couple that with the bad weather and now the prospect of paying five bucks a gallon, by this summer a lot of the farmers' market vendors may not be around.

"It's gonna hurt and hurt bad. We are a relationship market and farm and we basically survive because of our loyal customers here," said Eiko Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch.

Voljkovich fears she'll be forced to raise her prices. she has mixed feelings about what's happening in the Middle East.

"We'd like to see them being free but we'd sure like to survive as a small farm too," she said.

Survival is all the farmers really want. For now Wade is keepign a positive attitude. "We'll be ok, we're farmers, it's what we do. It's not like I'm selling cars for a living."