Waterman’s Family Farm faces most challenging year in memory

Data pix.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The recent heavy rainfall is a challenge for farmers across the state of Indiana, but one family farm is struggling more than most.

Waterman’s Family Farm Farm on the southeast side of Indianapolis lost its leader, Bruce Waterman, in December. He was the owner and the most knowledgeable person on the farm.

“Doing this without Bruce has been very difficult,” said Bruce's wife of 50 years, Carol Waterman. “He was a good farmer. He knew what he was doing. I have some farm background and a little bit of experience, but there’s so much I don’t know.”

She’s hoping knowledgeable people in the community can help. The farm put a call out for weed picking volunteers during strawberry season.

“And one person showed up,” said Carol.

William Eland is a faithful Waterman's customer. He said had he known, he would have been there to help.

“I’m sorry for the loss in the family, and I hope the rest of the family continues on with the tradition that they’ve had, and they’ve been here a long time, I know,” said Eland.

He came to Waterman's on Tuesday to buy fresh tomatoes. He said these fruits don't compare to anything you can buy in a grocery store.

“Nine out of 10 times, everyone is going to pick the Indiana tomato because you can sure tell the difference,” said Eland. “I hope things continue like they have been every year because we look forward to it every year.”

Carol said she and her family are trying.

“It has been, I think, the worst year in terms of the weather because I can’t remember experiencing where we just couldn’t get in for weeks and weeks and weeks on end,” said Carol.

Not only does heavy rain delay planting, it also creates problems for plant growth. The soil is so compact that seeds can't break through.

Waterman's has been open for 41 years, and Carol hopes it lives on much longer.

If you would like to offer farming advice or volunteer, email carol@watermansfamilyfarm.com.

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