Cold weather to take its toll on local farms

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PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO) As the temperatures drop for the weekend, the local fall harvest could take a hit.

"We do not have much chance if it goes down to 30, 31, 32," said Barbara Bikki, owner of Bikki's Ranch of Liberty in Palisade.

Bikki planned ahead and had her pickers collecting as many tomatoes as possible on Thursday in preparation for the frost warnings.

"If we pick them pink today, then we'll save some of it," Bikki said. "Maybe I'll have tomatoes for two more weeks."

Bikki's Ranch of Liberty would normally have tomatoes along with a wide variety of vegetables for sale for another month, but the winter-like weather could cut that in half.

It's a familiar feeling for the Palisade farmers who started off the season in a similar way. A frost in April killed some of the peach crop.

But Bikki said she keeps looking forward to the next year in hopes it will be better.

"A farmer never plans on too much loss because that would take our hope away from everything else that we work so hard for," she said.

For those who aren't farmers, gardeners have some tips to keep plants at home alive in the cold weather. Dennis Hill from Bookcliff Gardens recommends covering flowers with a light blanket or a sheet to insulate them from the freezing temperatures.

Buying mums or pansies are another option to keep some color around your yard in the fall as both types of flowers enjoy the cold weather, Hill said.

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