Asparagus farm averts disaster - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Asparagus farm averts disaster

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Karen Pendleton with some of her precious crop. Karen Pendleton with some of her precious crop.

It was a tense night for a local agro-tourism business, which, among other activities and products, operates a U-pick asparagus operation.

Pendleton's County Market said it was keeping a close eye on its 20-acres of asparagus early Friday morning as temperatures plummeted, threatening the prized asparagus crop.

Following an early morning of near freezing temperatures, Karen Pendleton checked in with the following assessment.

"We didn't have a total loss, but we're kind of in a gray area. There is some damage, but not total destruction, " Pendleton said.

"We get 18 tons of asparagus per acre on the field we pick during the season, and 13 tons an acre on the field visitors pick," Pendleton added.

Pendleton said the farm already started five days late because of a cold and wet early spring, and this morning's killing frost made a bad season even worse.

"We will be picking all day, and still plan to mow parts of the field to hedge our bets," said Pendleton. "Sometimes the frost damage doesn't show up for a few days."

This is the 34th year of running the farm for the Pendletons, and she said they've learned to roll with the punches Mother Nature doles out. Still, it wasn't a fun night, and it's not going to be pleasant for a few days waiting to see what the ultimate impact of the cold weather may be.

Making matters worse, forecasts call for another cold night tonight with the possibility of frost.

So, just how cold will it get tonight? Check out Meteorologist Chris Suchan's forecast here.

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