“New England” – New England farmers: fresh flowers to grow with the weather
Posted On July 23, 2021
Fresh flowers can be grown with the wind and rain.
But the flowers can also grow better with a little help from climate change.
New England is growing fresh flowers for drought-affected farmers.
They can help to keep crops in season and provide moisture.
A year ago, New England was suffering from a dry spell, so farmers like John Gaudet, owner of Gaudets Fresh Flowers in Southborough, Massachusetts, and his wife, Mary, planted about 100,000 fresh flowers in the last few weeks of July.
They hope they will help keep farmers in the region’s soil from the threat of extreme weather.
“It’s a good way to get them out there and provide a lot of water to our crops and also give them a lot more opportunity to grow,” said Mary Gaudett, who is also a volunteer for the Garden Project, a New England-based nonprofit organization.
In a way, she said, it’s just the natural thing to do to help our soil.
“You can’t have too many flowers in a pot, so we’re trying to do a lot with them,” she said.
Gaudetts Fresh Flowers is one of several growers in New England who are planting fresh flowers with the storm-induced drought.
They also have a program to plant more flowers with a few extra days of cool weather.
Some of those flowers will then be picked up and planted in the fall when the weather is cooler.
That will help to ensure crops in the area stay fresh, said John Gaffney, an associate professor of agronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“I think that is really good for the soil and I think it’s good for our crops,” Gaffey said.
In addition to the rain, the New England drought has also caused more severe heat waves and snowfalls.
But Gaffes hopes these will pass.
“We’re getting warmer temperatures, and we’re getting snow that is so cold that it will melt,” he said.
“But we’re going to get our crops up and ready to plant next year, and hopefully it will be a very good year.”
New England’s drought, which is a record-setting heat wave that started in the summer of 2018, is also expected to be a year for new crops, Gaffery said.
That includes tomatoes, peas, potatoes and apples.
The weather is expected to stay cool for the rest of the year.
“When we have those types of years like we’re seeing right now, we’re definitely going to be getting better crops,” he added.
Some New England crops are getting help from the weather.
Gaffet’s family farm, Gaudettes Fresh Flowers, sells fresh produce from his farm to stores and supermarkets in the state.
But they don’t sell any vegetables.
They sell flowers, too, but only when they are available for sale, said Gaffett.
“If you want fresh flowers and you don’t have the flowers, you can buy some of them, but it is definitely better to have them,” Gaudette said.
New York farmers are hoping the cold and wet weather will help their crops.
NewYork State Department of Agriculture and Markets chief meteorologist David Wurzbach said the state is expecting temperatures in the low 30s and low 40s by the time spring crops arrive in New York this spring.
But by the end of May, it could warm to the high 50s and even the high 60s, Wurbbach said.
Wurmbach said that is likely because of the weather pattern in New Mexico and Texas.
“The high temperatures, they’re going through a period of dry weather, which gives them the opportunity to warm up and dry up,” he explained.
The average temperatures in New Jersey have been averaging 35 degrees.
“As the climate warms up, it will bring with it some moisture and also a chance for trees to regrow, which will help with nutrient levels,” Wurlbach said, “and also trees and shrubs will grow faster.”
The storm is expected in the next few weeks, so expect some warmer temperatures.
But it will still be a challenging time for farmers.
“At this point, we are still dealing with some weather that we’ve had here for months, but we have a little bit of time to prepare for it,” Gafett said.
With the New York drought, farmers will also have to prepare to weather more extreme weather as it gets colder, said Wurnbach.
“There will be the occasional storm, but if we have it, we’ll handle it,” he noted.
“This is a long, dry season.
We have a few weeks to prepare and be ready.”
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