Arctic Blast: Austin farmers ready for freeze

Weather & Traffic Q&As

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With this weekend’s below freezing temperature comes plenty of problems for local farmers.

“What we’re trying to do is harvest as much as we can right now before the freeze comes and damages the crops,” says Brenton Johnson with Johnson’s Backyard Garden.

Johnson has been planting vegetables for nearly 20 years in Austin. “I’ve always loved gardening. I learned from my dad when I was growing up and my grandfather,” he said. “I guess I caught the bug.”

His backyard gardening hobby has now become a 200-acre farm where local residents and restaurants alike come for fresh produce.

“We grow about 200 types of vegetable crops year-round for our CSA members, local restaurants in Austin. We sell to grocery stores like Whole Foods and Central Market, Wheatsville Co-Op,” he said.

With a prolonged stretch of freezing weather in the forecast, Brenton and his team are working to harvest as much as possible. The seedlings they were preparing to plant in the ground are now being placed in a greenhouse for safekeeping.

Brenton plans to resume planting after the freeze. Until then he’ll use heaters to keep his seedlings safe.

Leafy green plants that grow above ground are at the greatest risk from the cold. While rooted vegetables that grow underground usually survive.

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