Local farmer works to save crops during extremely cold weather conditions

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - One local farmer was working to safe his crops from the extremely cold temperatures Sunday night.

Mathis Peaches was one produce farm battling the unseasonable cold going into the first day of Spring.

Mathis Peaches currently has strawberries and peaches planted in their fields and Randy Mathis spend most of the night protecting those crops from the below freezing temperatures.

“We put row covers over the strawberries and those row covers usually protect them to about 25 degrees. Just to make sure yesterday we got out and put an extra row cover, I had some old row covers and we kind of doubled them up, just to make sure the strawberries would be okay. I had a few varieties of peaches that were already out of bloom and had little peaches on the tree. We were trying to save some of those and spent most of the night just burning wood under those trees to try to save them. It’ll probably be a few days before we really know if it helped any or not because my thermometer got down to 24 on my back porch so it might have gotten too cold,” said Mathis.

Mathis said it is common that they lose crops up until April because of freezing temperatures.

“We’ve had peaches get killed as late as over in April. Sometimes you still get occasional freezes but as a general rule of thumb, if I make it over to about to the eighth or tenth of April, I kind of feel pretty good. This is the first day of Spring and we are standing out here had one of the coldest nights of the winter last night, so you never know,” said Mathis.

At the Mathis Peaches and Produce Market, customers like Paula Leblanc, said they appreciate all the hard work that goes into bringing in that produce and making it available to buy.

“We want places like this. We want to support them because you know what it is handy being able to come over here. It’s halfway between Quitman and Meridian. Come out and support them because we want their business to thrive because we will miss them if they are not here,” said Leblanc.

Mathis Peaches and Produce currently has strawberries for sale and their peaches are expected to be ready to sell by May.

The produce market is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.