Wet summer drowns Hmong dahlia future

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on July 16, 2010 at 6:04 PM

CARNATION, Wash. - The sunflowers look great, the peas are healthy, but most of the cash crop for the Snoqualmie Valley's Hmong farming community is dead and rotting away.

The Hmong's famous dahlias got soaked over the wet spring and early summer, and those that normally thrive in low-lying farm areas drowned in the saturated soil.

"It's devastating," said Hmong farmer Bee Cha. "It could take years for us to recover."

Dahlias are grown from valuable tubers that take years to mature and are dug up and replanted for each consecutive crop.

Cha estimates he lost 80 percent of this year's crop, which will lead to a lean crop next year, and he says dozens of other family farms are suffering the same fate.

More info:

Seattle Times: Floods took a toll on Hmong farmers' prized flowers

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