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Local farmers hoping nor’easter clears before expected weekend rush


CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The slow-moving nor’easter lashing Southern New England is not what farmers want to see on the weather map.

They are hoping, for their farm’s sake, that the weather clears for the upcoming weekend.

“Business has been excellent, it’s been a great year for us,” Jonathan Confreda, the general manager of retail at Confreda Farms in Cranston, said.

The fall crops of pumpkins, squash and peppers have been good, and the weather has been cooperating, but Confreda Farms did have some competition that left their farm surprisingly empty of customers at times.

“Our biggest competition on the weekends has been the New England Patriots. Every Sunday, it’s been 1 o’clock games,” Confreda said.

With the Patriots playing on Thursday night, the Confredas hope to make up for those slow times this weekend.

Marc Paulhus, owner of Cucumber Hill Farm, told Eyewitness News he “needs good weather this weekend.”

His farm is only open on weekends and it relies on visitors exploring the corn maze and pumpkin fields.

While the weekend weather has been good so far this fall, Paulhus said the long Columbus Day Weekend is important to the farm.

Confreda agrees, saying this weekend is expected to be one of his busiest weekends this season.

Wind and rain from a slow-moving nor’easter could linger into part of the weekend, and the Confredas are hoping the storm will be gone by then.

“We should hopefully have excellent weather on Sunday and Monday,” Confreda said.

While crops were great this year, farms rely on the entertainment side of agriculture, including corn mazes and tractor rides, and they’ll need good weather for it.

Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca said the weather should begin improving starting Saturday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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