Strawberry Farmer Frustrated Over Spring Freeze

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. - Strawberry farmers across the mid-state braced for freezing temperatures Sunday into the new week and they'll do so again Monday night.

Freezing temperatures can destroy the berry crop and farmers have been covering large portions of their fields with tarp to protect it from frost.

"It takes a lot of time to get them covered," said Leah Blocker, co-owner of blocker Farms. "It's also a lot of labor getting the individuals out here. You can see the covers are very big and it's very cumbersome to have to move them back and forth and back and forth."

Blocker said they've covered their crop seven times so far because of the inconsistent temperatures. It takes about an hour and a half each time because they're careful not to damage the berries.

"We plant grass in between our rows now, which is helping keeping the covers off. However, there are local strawberry farmers who have already called their insurance companies and started to file claims," she said.

Blocker is hopeful this will be the last time they have to prepare for frost. This time last year Blocker said they were already picking the strawberries. As of Monday, they weren't close to ripening.


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