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Farmers say no serious damage from the cold weather and hope for more rain soon

Farmers market Solvang crops
John Palminteri
Crops at the Solvang Farmers' Market have a premium look even after some below freezing days on the Central Coast. (Photo:John Palminteri)

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. - Subfreezing temperatures have been a concern for farmers on the Central Coast this week, but no serious damage has been reported. What they really want is more rain.

In the Lompoc Valley, clumps of cold dirt were being churned up for a new field of crops along Highway 246 west of Buellton near the La Purisima Mission.

For the last two nights, like many areas, temperatures here were in the 20s.

Workers were doubled up on their jackets and hoodies as they carried irrigation lines where the new crops are going.

It can be biting cold for the first few hours of the day. It happens every winter and sometimes there's a stiff wind pushing through.

Nearby at the Solvang Farmers Market, one apple seller said at her ranch there was nothing coming out of her water hose this morning.

"Just frozen, no water coming out. Nothing, completely cold," said Stacie Morse who sells for Fair Hill Farms.

The crop was cold, crisp and getting bagged up by customers.

"They actually do pretty good in the cold. Apples, they are hearty too," said Morse.

Many farmers have a colorful haul of fruits and vegetables for sale here including cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli beets, celery,  flowers, nuts and honey. They are harvesting and selling at several  other markets on the Central Coast as well.

Many of the winter crops appear to be in good shape. If there's any damage,  it hasn't shown up yet and the growers were not very worried.

Plus the weather is warming up.

One shopper is also a golfer and he had a gauge on the weather in a different way.

"When the guys got in it was 27 degrees. When we started golfing it was 33," said Harry Dej, who has lived in Canada where it was once 40 below zero. 

As he was bagging up some fresh tangerines, he was asked if the freezing weather affected his swing or the way the ball reacts. 

"The way I golf, it doesn't make a bit of difference," he said with a laugh.

In the big picture, one resident said it may help in the climate balance overall.

"It was 27 yesterday, today it was 28, plus I know that the cold for the average temperatures for global climate change is a good thing," said Solvang resident Mark Bates.

In the Carpinteria Valley at dawn, the wind machines were purring along Highway 192.

This stirs the wind when temperatures are around freezing and it's proven to keep the avocados from having any damage .A long spell of freezing temperatures can impact the leaves and fruit and in some cases kill  trees.

Nearby nursery plants in outside pots were covered in plastic to shield them from the biting cold weather until the morning sun comes over the hills of Ventura County and Shepard Mesa to thaw them out.

California / Lifestyle / Outdoors / Santa Barbara- S County / Santa Maria - North County / Weather News

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.