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Produce Farmers Prepare for Winter
We're less than a month away from the first day day of winter a
We're less than a month away from the first day day of winter and produce farmers, like Garrick Veenstra, are gearing up."Getting the shed cleaned up, getting the field taken care of, getting things out of the field, just getting prepped for winter," said Veenstra.
Veenstra plants four acres of vegetables on his farm in Rochester each year and right now has cool weather crops in the field."We've got cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, some of the fancy Asian greens. We've got kale," said Veenstra.
Some of veenstra's root vegetables, like turnips, celery root and carrots, were harvested before the first hard freeze. Every other day, the vegetables are sprayed with water to keep them hydrated and crisp and are then put into this trailer for storage. "We purchased a trailer, we insulated it, and then what we do is we slide into the trailer. Make sure they as cool as possible. It acts like a refrigerator," said Veenstra.
Veenstra is already prepping his soil for next year. He will soon be adding minerals and this compost and has already planted a cover crop, a mix of wheat and rye, to help protect the soil during the cold winter months. "The cover crop will hold the soil in place. The root systems keeps the soil from washing away in the winter. It will keep the soil more stabalized in the winter," said Veenstra. Come spring, the cover crop will be tilled right into the soil."That will help build up the organic matter in the soil so it not only protects the soil in the winter, but then it adds the organic matter in the spring when we need it," said Veenstra.
Veenstra is already placing seed orders for next year. He will start planting seeds in these green houses in late January. Veenstra says, he still plans to plant a wide variety of crops."I'm not sure we'll do any completely new vegetable, but we're always trying out new varieties of the same vegetables every year. The same produce we do because every year we've got new varieties coming out and we wants to see what ones do best in our area," Veenstra said.
In Rochester, Lindsey Hess, ABC NewsChannel 20Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT