LANCASTER, S.C. (WBTV) – The Saturday night into Sunday morning lows kept many chilly but a farm in our area say the strawberry fields did not stand a chance.
The Halls, of Hall Family Farm, says this is the worse freeze they have experienced since 2017 and the worst loss they have had in 15 years.
Hall Family Farm is a family-owned farm in operation for 70 years. The farm has strawberry picking in the spring/summer months and pumpkin patches in the fall. Hall Family Farm has been a family favorite weekend stop for years. The open play area creates a kid-friendly wonderland.
”We’ve been coming to Hall farm since they were in Ballantyne since 2015,” says one parent who brings her kids often.
But the biggest draw for the Halls is just beyond that play area over in the strawberry fields.
”Our strawberry crop brings the people in,” says Lara Hall, co-owner of the farm.
Those strawberries have taken a beating though. Most are dead after a deep freeze hit the blooming buds leaving blackened blossoms in its wake.
”We knew the deep freeze was coming we just didn’t know how bad it was going to be,” says Hall.
At first glance, the plants look fine, but Lara Hall pointed out the difference between dead and alive buds. The alive ones are a vibrant yellow whereas the dead ones are black in the middle of the flower where the strawberries are supposed to grow.
”It’s just devastating,” she explains. “It’s very hard to take in that you put in all this work and effort and there’s nothing you can do about it really.”
The Halls tried to cover the plants to keep in the heat. They used large white covers called row blocks. These covers help protect the strawberry plant and blooms. The Halls’ spent Friday afternoon putting these out in preparation for the cold weather over the weekend.
They say half of the strawberries were protected under two covers and none of the strawberries were protected under only one cover. So, it was about a 50 to 100 percent loss of their crop on every row. They estimate a five-to-10-thousand-dollar loss.
”It’s a lot of lost revenue. Not just for the strawberries but other activities that we have going on,” says Hall.
But hope is still there. New buds will form, and The strawberries will still come just a little later than they wanted and Hall Farm fans say they are coming to support either way.
”They’re ready and waiting for the strawberries and they’re with us 100%,” says Hall.
The Hall Family Farm annual strawberry picking will have to be delayed because of this setback. Instead of opening in the first two weeks of April, it’s looking closer to the end of April for strawberry picking.
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