Pendleton’s Country Market struggling to recover from May tornado

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A devastating tornado that ripped through Douglas and Leavenworth counties in May is still causing hardship for victims.

At Pendleton's Country Market, the business may never return to what it once was.

Pendleton's has continued to operate every day since the tornado, selling vegetables, flowers and other herbs that survived the storm.

When you continue to have bills to pay, it's important to continue selling. The Pendletons haven't had time to plant any new crops since the storm struck.

But next month, owners John and Karen Pendleton are going close the retail operation for probably about a month because they just won't have much to sell anymore.

The twister destroyed five of the seven greenhouses on this 40-acre farm.

Instead, they'll focus on getting rid of the piles of rubble and other debris they haven't had time to haul away, until now.

"It’s slower than what we think on the clean up," John Pendleton said. "It’s not been that hard because we know what we need to do. I think the tough thing is it’s longer, harder days than what we should be having right now during the heat."

At this small farm, many of the crops and greenhouses weren't insured. The Pendletons are still waiting for insurance payments on their house and other property and expect to use the money to clean up and scale back the operation. There will be no pumpkin season this fall.

Slow Food Kansas City, a group that supports sustainable agriculture and local growers, is raising money for Pendleton's Tuesday night with a cookout at the Watt's Mill waterfall near 103rd Street and State Line Road.

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