Cash Crops: Freeze could hurt businesses' bottom line - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Cash Crops: Freeze could hurt businesses' bottom line

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GILBERT, Ariz. -

The cold weather is starting to have a chilling effect on some local businesses. Employees at a Gilbert farm have been working extra hard to protect their crop of fresh veggies.

Emma McCartney, an assistant farmer at Agritopia, checked the lettuce crops early Friday morning.  The frost is a concern for this multi-faceted business.

"This is our livelihood, so when we see that the temperatures are going to drop, obviously that's a risk for crop loss," she said.

McCartney says Agritopia grows everything from lettuce to carrots to kale on a 15 acre plot at any given time.  The produce is sold at a farm stand on site to the popular coffee shop nearby and Joe's Farm Grill uses it for its delicious and fresh menu -- a lost in crops could mean loss in cash.

"There's always no risk that there could be crop loss for lots of different reasons, but this is one we can definitely take a proactive stance," said McCartney.  "Special frost clothes and then you know, you water."

Even though the green lettuce was covered overnight, you can still see a little frost on the leaves.  That's why farmer's assistants were out here checking all the produce.

"The basil plants will actually turn black.. like they'll turn completely black 'cause the frost kills them," said Michael Wilson.

The staff at Agritopia will spend the day looking for any potential damage and work through the weekend to protect the plants from the cold weather in an effort to protect their business.

Agritopia
Located on the Johnston Family Farm
NW corner of Higley & Ray Rds.
Gilbert, AZ
agritopia.com

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