Austin farmer: Recent cold snaps won't affect produce prices



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Posted on April 26, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 26 at 5:41 PM

AUSTIN -- From the tomato plants, to the onions, to the beets, the crops at the Springdale Farm in East Austin look vibrant.

While they may look vibrant, the recent cold snaps this spring have made caring for them quite the chore for owner Glenn Foore and his farm workers.

Despite scrambling to protect the produce from those cold snaps, Foore says most of his crops have come through very well. "We've been lucky. We've been able to cover. We've been able to hydrate," he said.

Springdale Farm is located in East Austin, which is one of the lowest-lying areas in town, so that means when there is a cold snap, all that cold air wants to drain into this low-lying area, and that means the farm workers have to scramble and decide which crops to cover.

The cold snaps have been great for some of Foore's crops. "The spring crops that we planted in the fall, like the beets, and the kales, and the chards, carrots, those things have loved this cooling down," he explained.

Other vegetables, however, have had enough of the cold weather. "It's always most demanding on the summer crops that we go in early, like the squash, like the tomatoes, peppers, things like that," said Foore.

When asked if the cold snaps would mean people shelling out more money to buy vegetables, Foore said, "I don't think so at all. I mean, we've been able to ride this pretty well, and we've got some really good farmers in the area."

HEB supermarkets would not talk to KVUE on camera but did release a statement saying: "Ensuring HEB customers continue to receive the best products at the best possible price is our top priority. HEB customers will not see an impact to local prices on produce. Some of the harvest dates on locally grown products will be delayed by a few days."

Meanwhile, spokesperson Daphne Richards from the Texas A&M Agrilife extension office in Travis County says the recent cold snaps may be a concern, mainly for this year's peach crop.

It's been a chilly start to spring, but farmers like Glenn Foore are confident their vegetable crop will weather the cold just fine.