The abnormally wet weather this spring and summer proved troublesome, if not devastating, for many farmers across the Midwest.
For many in the area who use community gardens, though, the growing season has been plentiful.
“This has been my best year,” Darren Causey said as he trimmed plants in one of his two plots in the community garden off White Oak Street in Independence.
Causey and Charles Herring both said they've harvested some vegetables and replanted areas in their White Oak plots.
Sheila Cline, who moved recently from the state of Washington, is going through her first growing season in Missouri.
“I've never had tomatoes (plants) this high,” she said of her White Oak plot.
In Blue Springs, Dale and Susan Robinson, among others gardeners there, said while planting might have been delayed a bit, they've hardly had to water their tomato plants in the community garden off Walnut Street.
That's been a common sentiment with community gardeners, though ultimately a successful plot requires further diligence, like keeping up with trimming and harvesting, Causey said.
“I've hardly watered, even when it was a little dry,” he said. “I believe in letting the roots drive deep down.
“Not too much,” Herring said about watering. “I've had to come and weed for them.
“It was a little bit of a wait to plant.”
Causey explained that with the raised beds used in many community gardens, they are not near as susceptible to having seeds and plants flooded out, and one also can enhance the sandier soil that many Missouri farms have, which can dry up more quickly.
He and Herring both talked about using a plastic cover over plants to some degree, an option farmers obviously don't have.
“With a raised bed it's completely different,” Causey said.
Overall, with more sun-filled days, gardens should flourish, Causey said. He also works plots in community gardens next to Stone Church and in Sugar Creek, but his White Oak plots have flourished the most.
“It's going to be a great season,” he said.