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Cold Weather Chills Crops but Some Can Handle it

Many crops are feeling the impacts of the subfreezing temperatures over the last four nights, but not all will be damaged.

At the Tuesday Farmers Market in Santa Barbara, growers said, so far they have not seen significant damage except to the late summer crops that were enjoying the unusual weather patterns we have had in the fall.

Tomatoes have done particularly well, so far, but they are getting hit hard by the big chill that has come down from the north with temperatures in the 20’s and in some areas, like Lompoc, the teens. One grower said it was 17 degrees on his property this past weekend before dawn.

Orin Caldwell withTutti Fruiti Farms had boxes of fresh vegetables on display. “The greens are going to hang in there, but our tomatoes, this is the last day you can get them.” Heirloom tomatoes were going for $15.00 a box to close out the season. Kale, chard, and lettuce have been harvested without any impacts from the frosty conditions.

Colorful carrots handle the cold weather well and farmer say they have a sweeter taste and a nice snap.

One grower Julian Lindemuth said, “We prepare for it we know it’s coming. That’s why we grow winter crops.”

Tangerines and other citrus normally show signs of a hard freeze, but so far the products for sale were in perfect condition, and picked before the temperatures had an impact.

Many farmers have seen this before and make sure they have a plan to rebound for temporary losses. “We are still in there. We are surviving and we are still able to grow our crops,” said Sebastian Padilla with Lane Farms in Goleta.

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