Why a Freeze is So Important to Our Florida Farm

in homesteading •  11 months ago

All you friends that live north of the Mason-Dixon (and some south of it), are probably going to think our piddly little freeze is no big deal. It got to 29* early Monday, and was 31* the night before. It's 79* here on Tuesday afternoon, so what's the big deal??

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Well, this is a many layered blessing. You might think that we Floridians are just used to having mosquitoes, and you're only partially correct. We are used to dealing with them, but we don't want em! This freeze and the wind that has followed it has allowed me to walk outside today without even one bug bothering me or my livestock. Even the usual cow flies are missing!

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Also, you may have read about Florida being invaded by non-native animals. One of these is very dangerous, the Burmese Python. They eat deer, rabbits, and pretty much everything in between. When I lived near the Everglades in the 70s, we had manatees that would come up to our bass boat and visit. If there are any manatees left down there, one of these snakes could consume the babies. They are also a threat to humans, as you can see in this screenshot from Newsweek:

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The cold weather we're having will keep these invaders well South of us!

Another cold-weather advantage is for our precious citrus crops. Oranges need a few nights of cold to get them really sweet. The past few years our neighbor's commercially grown oranges tasted like battery acid, not just because of the way he's growing them, but there just weren't enough cold nights. Our oranges get worm castings and are grown in the mottled shade of live oaks and they were pretty sweet, but not like they used to be after the cold fronts of a decade ago.

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One more good thing, I finally got to wear my heavy jacket since my son and I work my bakery stand at a Monday morning market! That thing's been hanging in my closet for SIX YEARS! By 11 am it had warmed enough to take it off. I hope it's not another 6 years before I get to wear it again...fingers crossed!!

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The young deer hide on our property during hunting season. There are four in the picture and about seven off to the side that were quicker than my phone camera in the dark.

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(Oh, lots of chili and homemade cornbread! Cold weather definitely has a silver lining...)

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This post has received gratitude of 1.00 % from @jout thanks to: @farmandadventure.

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You got a 0.07% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @jout!

I would have thought frost would be bad for your citrus trees, but I learned something new! Following.

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A hard freeze or frost every night for several nights would be bad, but this frost was light in comparison. Just enough cold. Thx for the follow!

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Ahh, okay.