This Crazy-Hot Summer Is Scaring Chefs and Farmers

By
Jonathon Sawyer Photo: Collin Keefe

As you can probably guess, this summer's unprecedented weather isn't just muggy and uncomfortable, it's also terrible for crops. Yes, at first it sounds great that we'll all be eating ripe peaches and tomatoes sooner than usual, and warmer weather means the promise of a longer growing season. But chef Jonathon Sawyer — a Food & Wine Best New Chef and owner of Cleveland's Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat (and noted lover of wild mushrooms) — thinks this might not be a good thing: "My farmers are terrified," he says. "Everyone’s on the edge of their seat, anticipating these locusts and insects of biblical proportions. We’re all pretty terrified of what might happen once it starts getting real hot.”

Sawyer continues, “A lot of records have been set this year, and I think it’s making it harder to deny that climate change is a real thing.” Indeed, around the country, 3,215 daily temperature records were set in June alone, and 40,000 temperature records have been set so far this year. Sawyer adds that temperatures in his part of the country are consistently higher than they've ever been.

All this talk of rising temperatures — not to mention the actual sweltering heat — is enough to make Grub Street want to cool off with some watermelon. Except, wait, are those supposed to be so ripe this time of year?

Related: This Weather Is What Global Warming Looks Like
Earlier: Whoops! Jonathon Sawyer Accidentally Poisoned Himself With a False Chanterelle