Local farmers see silver lining in winter weather rollercoaster
Posted January 16, 2013
Updated January 17, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — On Sunday, high temperatures climbed into the low 70s – unseasonably warm for January. Five days later, WRAL meteorologists expect snow to fall across central North Carolina.
So, does the roller coaster weather signal disappointing winter and harvests for local farmers? Not necessarily, say farmers at the Raleigh Farmers Market.
Thursday's cold snap will actually help green, leafy vegetables, according to Renee Blackmon from Tart Farms in Johnston County.
"Your collards and greens and stuff like that, they can take it," Blackmon said. "It's actually pretty good for the collards to get frosted on. It actually makes them sweeter and more tender."
Strawberry plants are already in the ground waiting for spring at Porter Farms in Wake County, farmer Ashley Porter says. The weekend warm-up was a minor hiccup for the crops, but the berries will welcome a dusting of snow.
"Snow is like a blanket, like a cover," Porter said. "It actually doesn't freeze under a snow blanket."
Jeff Allen from Beth Moore's Produce said he isn't worried about the snow affecting his crops, but hopes it will help some of his firewood sell.
"The wood ain't been going nowhere the last little while," he said. "Hopefully this cold weather and the snow will make people come in here and get it."