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Tomato Troubles in Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE (KYTX)- Jacksonville is famous for its tomatoes, but as Tomato Fest approaches, growers are worried the crops won't be ready in time.

This year, you may see more of the concrete tomatoes around town than the regular variety.

Wanda Guinn sells her crops at Guinn's Produce Stand every year. But this year, she couldn't open when she usually does.

"Everybody was ready for me to open 10 days ago. Everyone around town was like why aren't you there yet? Well I don't have any tomatoes to open and there's no need to open without tomatoes," says Guinn.

The reason the tomatoes aren't ready? Colder temperatures.

"We've had a lot cooler temperatures especially into May so it delays the cycle a bit on the growing and then it slows down the actual turning of the tomatoes," says Guinn.

Customers say that the delay is causing them to shop elsewhere.

"We get some stuff of course from the grocery store that comes from Mexico and South America and that's fine," says customer David Bridges.

But Bridges says he always prefers home-grown foods.

"There's nothing like a Jacksonville tomato, and this lady does a great job," says Bridges.

Guinn says that a little heat will go a long way.

"There's lots of tomatoes hanging, if we can ever get to the point when they'll turn then it should be a good year," says Guinn.

Growers say this delay is unfortunately not ending anytime soon. They are expecting cold winters for the next few years.

Growers hope the tomatoes will be ready for Tomato Fest on June 14 in Downtown Jacksonville.
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