Black Hills farmers and gardeners deal with the early frost

One said the frost came earlier than normal, but plans for this by growing multiple crops.
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 4:37 PM MDT
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BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KEVN) - From 100-degree temperatures to snow, the Black Hills were hit with some extreme weather this week.

“These kind of things happen, and it definitely brings us to realization that winter’s coming, fall is coming," said Tim Sime, Jolly Lane Greenhouse co-owner.

For those producers who received only rain and frost, their harvest isn’t looking too bad. But those who had snow are feeling a little different.

“The tender things obviously froze, so our tomatoes and peppers and some of the outdoor greens are done for the season, so that’s kind of some of the heavy stuff that you really look forward to at the end of the season," said Michelle Grosek, Bear Butte Gardens co-owner. "But the squash we will be able to go out still and harvest that.”

“Everything is destroyed. The field corn is now not going to be able to germinate anymore so we’re going to figure out plan B for that," said Desiree Duncan, an organic farmer from Newell. "All of the produce in the gardens that I have are ruined, they will no longer produce at all anymore either.”

Grosek said the summer growing season is different every year in South Dakota but the frost came earlier than normal. She however plans for this by growing many different crops.

“We grow a wide variety of things and so the hope is that if the weather takes out one type of crop, or it doesn’t do well, then you’ve got the other ones to rely on still. And that holds true with an early frost too," said Grosek. "You still have your squash to get in and your root crops.”

Grosek said she’s ready for the cooler fall weather and Sime said the cooler temperatures gave some gardeners inspiration.

“People expressed, “I was ready to change out my pots from the summer annuals to some fall garden mums or pansies or flowering kale or cabbage, things that do well in the cooler temps”," said Sime. "So sometimes it gives them a good reason to do some changing up when they probably wouldn’t if things looked good the way it is.”

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