Farmer Gets Creative with Crops Because of Winter Weather

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- The weather in the past two weeks has left some people who frequent the Harrisonburg Farmers Market without greens.

Elaine Nolt has a three acre vegetable and berry farm in Springs Glen. Nolt is worried about her greens, which she sells along with other products at the farmer's market.

Last week, she went without greens because of the freezing temperature. If it is below 32 degrees, Nolt can't get the lettuce out of the ground.

She said the water inside the tissues of the lettuce freezes, so if you cut that it turns to mush. Her collard greens and kale also become brittle and will break if you touch them.

So with this weekend's cold temperatures, Nolt is getting creative.

"We have some ready heaters that we actually bought fuel for yesterday so we are going to try that and experiment with that and put a little bit of heat in here. Just keep it above 30 so hopefully we can cut for this Saturday because that's our big thing, that's our main thing and all our customers are like what, no greens?" Nolt said.

Nolt said a farmer has to be flexible and part of that means dealing with the ups and downs of temperatures.

Nolt is also experimenting with compost piles because she said having those nearby increases heat.

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