Strong winds destroy part of the harvest of RGV farmers

LYFORD, TEXAS (ValleyCentral) – As winds of more than 50 mph swept through the Rio Grande Valley last week, a farmer said much of his crops were destroyed.

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Cruz Salinas, owner of Salinas Family Farm, told ValleyCentral that growing fruits and vegetables is “like going to Las Vegas and rolling the dice.” He never knows when he’s going to lose or win when it comes to betting against mother nature.

This time around though, mother nature got the best of Salinas and her farm as she said she was “threshing” her strawberry plants to “death”.

The Salinas family farm uses sand-based soil. So when these winds propelled the RGV, the sand blew away their fruits and plants in turn, leaving their crops battered and bruised.

“We lost quite a bit. We won’t be picking strawberries for almost two weeks. We were picking strawberries every two or three days, so we normally have 50 to 60 people here picking berries, so financially, it’s It’s a big loss,” added Salinas.

Salinas also said there was no source of economic support or insurance available for small farms.

With economic inflation, Salinas said it was much more difficult to get back on top. “Everything we buy is twice, three times more than before, so when we have stuff like that, it really hurts.”

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Normally, the Salinas family farm is able to prepare with “windbreaks” before the winds pass, but with prices much higher than normal, Salinas said, “you just take the hit.”

The maintenance process for some of the crops that have been sandblasted involves blowing on each bur, ensuring that little or no sand remains.

Salinas and his wife, Joyce, told ValleyCentral they are picking up the pieces bit by bit, but hope to reopen to the public for picking in two weeks.

When the farm reopens for picking, Salinas said he wants everyone to understand the benefits of buying local rather than from a main chain supplier.

“When we harvest, we harvest either the day before or the morning of the market, so you get a literally ripe food or vegetable,” Salinas commented.

According to Beetfruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being harvested.

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Salinas said the products you find in grocery stores are typically stocked for weeks. “They are gassed and they are sold. That’s not to say they don’t taste good, but they do have that extra insecticide, pesticide, or herbicide that isn’t normally used locally.

The goal of the Salinas Family Farm is to serve the freshest, most nutritious food from farm to table and so far, for seven years, they have been able to achieve this goal.

At the local level, Salinas said that when you buy from small farmers, you most likely also give to other vendors.

For the Salinas family farm, it’s just him and his wife who do most of the work, so they seek outside help from local businesses. By buying locally, you’re also supporting other locals, according to Salinas. “The local economy is booming.

You can find the Salinas family farm at the Harlingen Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

ValleyCentral will have information when the Salinas family farm reopens its strawberry fields to the public.

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