Frosty Temps Destroy El Monte Crop

A farm in South El Monte anticipates a spike in prices for fruits and veggies as a cold snap grips SoCal

By Janet Kwak and Jason Kandel
|  Monday, Jan 14, 2013  |  Updated 1:27 AM PDT
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Cold weather was blamed for destroying a crop at a community farm in South El Monte. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

Cold weather was blamed for destroying a crop at a community farm in South El Monte. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

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At Earthworks Farm in South El Monte, Richard Untal said the recent cold snap that’s gripped Southern California in frosty sub-freezing temperatures has destroyed his recent crop of leafy greens, salad mixes, kale, and chard.

The farm manager said he won’t be able to harvest for at least for another few weeks and that prices for fruits and veggies at the organic community farm will go up as a result.

“A lot of our baby plants died and I had to dump them into our compost,” said Untal, a manager at the farm. “We have some corn that we harvest for its leaves and that is all gone. We can't use that anymore. We just have to pull it up and destroy it.”

Across California, citrus growers reported most lemon and orange groves were spared from the bitter cold, but with more freezing nights ahead Untal worries how much more the frost will take.

“It was just disheartening to see those plants die and to start over again, so all the work that was put into it now it's gone in an instant,” he said.

A frost advisory is in effect through Monday morning and a high wind warning was set for 4 a.m. Monday through Tuesday afternoon, forecasters said.
 

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