How are Oregon nurseries handling the nasty weather? And what concerns them most as they brace themselves for the next front, which is due to arrive Wednesday and Thursday? Reports have started to trickle in:
- Kathy LeCompte, co-owner of Brooks Tree Farm north of Salem, Ore., reported that workers are suffering a loss of income because little work can be done right now. The snow itself has not impacted plants yet, which are protected by hoop houses, but that could change. “I predict a great many houses will come down if we get anywhere near the snow or ice that is predicted over the next few days,” LeCompte said.
- Likewise, John Coulter of Fisher Farms in Gaston, Ore., is concerned that covered plants are at risk of getting crushed, if indeed we receive six inches of snow tomorrow on top of the current snow and ice. Even if that doesn’t happen, he is concerned that plants covered with plastic will need water soon, yet workers won’t be able to remove covers until the weather lets up.
- Dave Van Essen, owner of Van Essen Nursery in Lebanon, Ore., has idled most of his production crew because there is no work for them to do, and may not be until after New Year’s Day. He doesn’t know how much damage he has sustained yet, because his entire container yard is covered with overwintering fabric or in closed houses. “The gas bill is yet to be determined,” he said.
- And if that’s not enough, Robin Rosetta of the North Willamette Research and Extension Center reported that the facility in Aurora, Ore., sustained a burst pipe. “Thankfully we have a very talented farm foreman with lots of experience with such things,” she said.
How is the weather affecting you? Share your stories under “comments” below, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you have any tips or tricks I’m sure your fellow growers would appreciate knowing. Together we’ll get through this.