Waynesboro, GA -
The weather has been a popular topic of conversation for most people and we are all ready for things to start warming up. News Channel Six's Dee Griffin explains how the prolonged winter is affecting local crops.
As March nears an end, this field of strawberries prepares to begin it's annual appearance near Waynesboro. Twenty two years ago, the Myers family started raising strawberries here. The Strawberry Patch owner Tim Myers says, "You can do it on a small scale and we had seen it in other places and it just seemed to work out and the Lord lead us into it."
But after two decades in business, this is the first time the winter's cold has put a freeze on growth at this time of the year. "No not quite like this one. We've had several times some bad storms that have come through. At least three times we've lost some of our crop to them because we couldn't save the blooms here in the spring. But this year was about the coldest that I've seen," says Myers.
It's a similar situation being experienced by crops across the country. The colder than normal temperatures as well as a delay in winter's departure are resulting in the later than normal arrival of a majority of the produce in many states. So, many producers are taking matters into their own hands. At the Strawberry Patch, sprinklers placed every sixty feet are helping provide much needed heat by way of frost. "As long as you keep putting water on and continue to freeze the ice, underneath the ice is thirty or thirty one degrees and that doesn't hurt the strawberry blooms," explains Myers.
As the spring sun beams down, the exposed blooms peak through a covering that protects their soil. Plump, bountiful berries that have made the "Strawberry Patch" an area favorite are beginning to take shape amongst the leaves.
Tim Myers says while the weather may have caused a delay it will not result in a denial of their arrival. "They just kind of hunker down when it's cold but their coming."
The "The Strawberry Patch" will open their stand in April on Highway 25. For more information go to their Facebook page at "The Strawberry Patch Waynesboro, Georgia."