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Storm-damaged cantaloupes affect Rocky Ford

Storm-damaged cantaloupes affect Rocky Ford

ROCKY FORD, Colo. -  It's a rocky start for farmers and businesses in Rocky Ford after hail storms destroyed most of the famous cantaloupes at one farm earlier this week.

Gail Knapp is co-owner of Knapp Farms. She said severe weather earlier this week damaged more than 30 acres of cantaloupes costing almost $250,000 in lost melons.

"It kind of makes you sick to your stomach watching it," she said.

Knapp said farming is a risky job.

She said it was bad news when she saw the severe storms over her farm.

"We could tell from the size of the hail and how much hail there was that is was going to be a pretty big problem for all of vegetables and fruit close to the market," Knapp said.

Despite the thousands of cantaloupes destroyed, the farm is selling cantaloupes at their farmers market.

As for the damaged melons, Knapp said the cows will be happy to eat them.

But the storms not only affected Knapp, but also restaurant worker Doug Powers.

His restaurant sells cantaloupe preserves. He buys the melons from Knapp.

Powers said people from all over the world by his preserves, but since the storm hit, there will be a delay in making more.

"Instead of waiting until next week, we will be waiting three weeks because now we are going to have to wait," he said.

Powers said he is looking at the brightside. He said not all the cantaloupes were destroyed and that Knapp Farms, along with Rocky Ford, will make it through what the storm damaged.

The Rocky Ford Growers Association said freezing weather from April also contributed to melons getting damaged.

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