Feast or famine summer creates struggles for local farmers

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Not every farm has been as lucky this summer with the rain. For Candace Monaghan of Beaver Dam Farm, she'll take whatever gets thrown her way.

"You're outside so you are kind of at Mother Nature's will," said Monaghan.

It's been a struggle to get consistency from Mother Nature in the four years since they started growing the sunflowers. Last year was no exception.

Heavy rain waterlogged the sunflowers and even a severe storm wreaked havoc at the farm during the first weekend of the festival.

"I always like to start by saying we can't control the weather, so we couldn't control the monsoon that came through," Monaghan said. "It closed us early on our first Saturday, and then on our second Sunday we weren't open at all."

The first weekend this year was much kinder thanks in large part to the dry and sunny weather.

As a way to prevent any storm-related issues, Monaghan says they staggered the planting of sunflowers so that just as many blooming flowers will be available to see the second weekend.

Sunflowers this year are a little shorter than usual and that has to do with a lack of steady rain throughout this summer. But what they lack in height, they make up for in numbers over 600,000 sunflowers here on 21 acres.

Monaghan says that drip irrigation is something they will definitely be looking into for the future to combat drier summers, but regardless there is still plenty of beauty to be found at Beaver Dam Farm

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