BRODHEADSVILLE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- The roller coaster weather is playing tricks on farmers, who are gearing up for a busy season.
But what could this mean for local fruits and vegetables? Farmer Jamie Gould keeps a close eye on his fields and the forecast.
“It’s been crazy,” says Gould.
In February, the weather turned unseasonably warm. That was a good sign for early strawberry, tomato, and pepper planting at Gould’s Produce in Brodheadsville.
“And if it would have kept that up, it would have been wonderful,” says Gould. “You could have got in here and got going early.”
But Mother Nature and her sudden cold spell put an end to those plans. Then the rain came, but without sunshine, moisture lingered in the fields.
“With the strawberries and the orchard crops, they kind of stood still for a little while and didn’t do a whole lot of growing,” says Gould.
Just like during the dry spell, farmers turn on their irrigation system when the temperatures reach the 30s for frost protection.
“It freezes the blossom and coats it in a thin layer of ice,” says Gould. “And that, crazy as it sounds, protects the blossom from freezing and getting damaged from the cold.”
Bad news for vegetable lovers, though- there won’t be an early crop.
But for fruit fanatics, your strawberries, apples, and peaches should be growing on schedule. Although, Farmer Jamie says when you’re in business with Mother Nature, anything can happen.
“You don’t lose sleep over it, you know what I’m saying?” Says Gould. “It’s going to do what it’s going to do.”
He’s just praying for warm nights and sunshine to transform these blossoming fields into ripe crops.
And if you’re interested- strawberry picking at Gould’s is expected to start sometime next month.