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January 7th, 2011

Warding Off Frost in Florida

I’m sure those of you who are fans of the Weather Channel know what kind of December we Florida farmers had! Even though Homestead is south of Miami, we tend to run anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees colder than Miami. (No concrete, asphalt, etc. to absorb heat during day and release at night.) Several times our nighttime lows dipped to the middle 30’s.

At first glance, that doesn’t seem so bad to gardeners from colder zones, but December is the height of our planting season. This would be the equivalent of northerners getting those low temps in June, right?

Luckily, I can keep most of the farm warm with our drip irrigation system. This just involves turning on the pump at a certain low temp, and praying for the best.

The real problem for us is the microgreens that we grow. They need water to keep them warm, but too much water will do them in. They are a big chunk of our farm income, so I stay up all night and check on them every half hour.

I’ve wanted to be a farmer ever since spending time on my Uncle Ralph’s farm from preschool on. Sometimes around 3 a.m., though, I think of the adage: “Be careful what you wish for.” —Andres Mejides, Homestead, Florida

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