Springfield garden project combating excessive heat's impact on crops

One farmer said he spent more time and resources than ever before to make sure the crops are alive and well.

Posted: Aug 20, 2018 6:31 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The rising temperatures have been a growing concern for farmers throughout the area as they work to protect their crops from excessive heat.

On average Eugene only experiences 14 days of temperatures above 90 degrees a year. However, according to the National Weather Service there have already been 23 days of temperatures hotter than 90 degrees this year.

Kevin Hillman is one of the main organizers of the Transition Garden Project, which provides low income and special needs students with fresh produce year-round. Hillman said the project was formed back in 2008, funded through the Springfield Public School District.

He said he, volunteers and student workers have spent more time and resources than ever before to make sure the crops are alive and well in their nearly five-to-six-acre farm located just off of Flamingo Avenue in Springfield.

He said with the excessive heat, they have to use a large amount of mulch and water, as well as other tactics to save their crops.

"We also cover our plants with some of this white row cover that you see out in the fields over here because we find this excessive heat brings out excessive bugs as well,” Hillman said. “So, this row cover that we use helps keeps the bugs out, helps keep moisture in and hopefully it's helping us produce a better crop."

He said his staff and volunteers have had to work 50 to 70 hours a week during the summer months to ensure their crops are okay.
Hillman said to show your support and to help fund the project, people can go their produce stand they have every Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. located on 7th and Main streets.

For more information on the project, you can go to their Facebook page here.

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