AG Watch

Farmers markets hit by freeze

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Those who run small farms were relieved to see they'll soon see a break from the hard freeze. Leafy greens and other cold weather crops were vulnerable during this past week but the Vineyard Farmers Market in north Fresno still offered a wide variety of produce.

Felix Muzquiz was thrilled to see so many crops survived the cold spell. Muzquiz said, "I was ecstatic especially because a lot of my favorites are still here. We even have a few tomatoes and chili peppers and things in December. It's kind of unheard of."

Small farmers can't survive unless they can get produce to the market. Vendors like Tracey Garcia of Laton were relieved to hear the temperatures will begin to warm.

Garcia said, "We were very concerned especially with our leafy green vegetables. That's what we worried about. Other than that, it came out pretty good."

Muzquiz added, "Some of our growers did have a harder time. We're missing three of our vendors today because of the freeze and the weather conditions."

Carrots and potatoes were fine underground during the freeze for the most part. A unique piece of citrus - Buddha's hand - survived the freezing temps in Parlier.

David Hasegawa of Blossom Bluff Orchards explained, "It was a little bit cold but we got most of our picking done beforehand - the stuff we could. Mostly the sweeter stuff like the oranges are still out there."

Whether it's extreme cold or extreme heat, these farmers take it all in stride because they're always at the mercy of the elements.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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