Farmers weigh in on warm winter: Great for greenhouses and livestock — and pests

This winter has thrown Mercer County farmer Johnny Parker for a loop. After a bitterly cold November and December, Parker, the operations manager at Edible Earth Farms, was anticipating a long winter.

But January and February have seen multiple days when temperatures reached past 50 or even 60 degrees. Many perennials, including chives and rhubarb, are already coming out of the ground.

Parker has kept detailed records of weather patterns throughout the seasons, so he knows when to harvest his tomatoes, how deep to plant sweetcorn, or when to uncover the green beans for spring pollination. Yet, in his 14 years at Edible Earth, he’s never experienced a season like this winter.

“I’m not entirely sure how to plan,” said Parker, “and a lot of planning goes into the production side of things in the next two months.”


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