HARLINGEN, Texas — Across the Rio Grande Valley farmers were heavily impacted by last year’s hurricane season. Some not being able to recover from their loss. An RGV farmer made adjustments after Hurricane Hanna devastated their field and is prepared for this year’s hurricane season.
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After Hurricane Hanna destroyed Wild August Nursery, owner and flower farmer Jennifer Wilson said it was a tough time to restore her field. The restoration took 4 months before it was back to normal. She said during that time they came up with a plan.
“Our best strategy is just to cut as much as we can out of the field, as many flowers as we can move out of the field into our cooler to keep them safe,” said Wilson.
Wilson said they cut all of their flowers by hand, taking on average 24 hours to clear the whole field.
“We have thousands and thousands of flowers in our field. Yes, we cut them all by hand with a snip and so when you imagine going through and clearing a 90 foot roll,” said Wilson.
One of the reasons it takes time is because after they cut the flowers they still have to be nurtured.
“Once they’re cut they all have to be processed which means we have to take them out of the field, strip them of stems, and of leaves that would be underwater in the water buckets, we clean the buckets and change all the water,” said Wilson.
Wilson said they grow all of their flowers from their farm instead of importing them from other states or countries. One of their best summer crops is the Lisianthus flowers. This flower also needs the most protection from weeds which is why they cover it in a biodegradable film. Wilson said she also took other measures to protect them from heavy rain.
“We try to crown those rolls now, those rolls that are going to be covered. We try to raise those beds up a little higher when we plant so that they can train a little more easily and more quickly,” said Wilson.
For farmers like Wilson, who has the majority of her farm in her front yard, there are residents that also experienced standing water in their property.
Hidalgo County Emergency Manager, Rick Saldaña said there is something people can do to help with that problem.
“If it’s saturated and they got standing water they can obtain pumps themselves and pump the excess water in the drainage system, but I would highly recommend that they would wait until all the water in the roadways recedes,” said Saldaña.
Wilson said her farm is prepared for this Hurricane season and if things get destroyed they won’t quit.
“We’re nimble enough as a business to adapt and we’re persevering enough not to quit. So, yeah I’m ready, I’m ready,” said Wilson.