CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- The gals at Providence Produce Market wake early and form a human chain that makes their work a little easier.

They're flinging cantaloupe from one person to the next, before placing it on the fruit stand.

The owner of the busy stand says customers have come to rely on his stand for fresh produce at good prices.

But David White says this summer has been tough. The hot weather has hurt local farmers, their produce not up to the standards that many retailers want.

We had a truck go all the way to the mountains to load and then we brought it back empty., said White. That's unheard of. We always put something on our truck, he said.

White says the summer heat has spoiled produce for many retailers, even big grocery store chains.

It's been tough to find good stuff, he said.

David has owned the Providence Produce Market for 10 years, and says it's never been this hard to fill his stands. He owns three markets throughout South Charlotte.

And he's sending trucks farther and farther to find the produce consumers want everyday.

Same thing, tomatoes had been out in the field and just weren't up to our standard and we came back empty, he said. It's expensive.

Green beans have been hard to find too.

They were just ugly, ugly, ugly, he said.

White is paying three times the price for a bu shell of beans this year compared to last year.

We had a whole week were we didn't even want to have them o the counter. So we didn't have beans, he said.

Squash is scarce too.

Farmers that would have 50 bushells, now only have 10 or fifteen, he said.

It hasn't kept shoppers away.Regulars like Tamery Stafford come with a list and get what they can.

And, according to growers, the fall should be more plentiful.

North Carolina hasn't experienced the severe drought the Midwest has suffered, according to Rodney Johnson of Patterson Farms. Plus, he says, many farmers in our area are able to use irrigation to help during dry days.

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