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Greenhouse gives grower a jump on summer veggies

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Wednesdays at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market brings a smaller crowd than the Saturday market. But Curb Market Assistant Manager Carolyn Hulsey says the smaller gathering is a great time to get to know the vendors.

"If you are curious about what it is, he can tell you about it," Hulsey said. "Maybe even suggestions on how to cook it and how to use it."

That's why Laura Lauffer likes to stop by the Curb Market on Wednesdays.

"The freshness, you get to know the producers and their practices and what's coming in," she said.

And what's coming in is bringing Gibsonville grower George Smith a lot of attention.

"A lot of people are very conscious about their food and why is this so early," Smith said. "They think it's being shipped from another state. It's not. It's grown about 10 miles from the farmers market."

Smith is already selling summer vegetables like squash, peppers and onions. The produce comes from the Smith Farms greenhouse. Under the right conditions, Smith can grow summer vegetables in the spring. But nearly constant rain in May forced Smith to work even harder to get his summer crop to market.

"We had to ventilate more," Smith said. "We have to bring in the cooler air to drop the relative humidity to protect our plants from certain diseases."

So far Smith is winning. The greenhouse conditions are ideal for growing flowers and produce. And customers like Laura Lauffer are excited to see the produce at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market.

"One of the things I like to say is eat your view," Lauffer said. "So if we love how farms look on the countryside, then we need to support them."