In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion
DALLAS — Much of our area was expected to get a few inches of snow Monday night, and one place the winter weather is hurting: farms.
Frost covered the ground at Darling and Sons Farms and Greenhouses, in Dallas, but inside the houses, it was as balmy as mid-July.
That’s where we found Norman Darling, making sure his flowers were in tip-top condition.
“This week we should, like I said, they should be about that long and just starting to see color in the bud,” said farm co-owner Norman Darling.
But these lillies are not. Cold temperatures this late in the season and cloudy weather have forced the farm to turn up the heat. Norman said he payed 30% to 40% more in heating costs for the greenhouses than he normally does at this time of year.
“The sun hasn’t helped at all. Some things started to stretch. Things are behind,” said Darling.
One of Darling’s 15 greenhouses on the property was the warmest. It was 72 degrees in. And was where you’d find the Easter lillies that they’re hoping would bloom just in time for the holiday.
“We would like to have the houses open with the vents so we can cool things down instead of pushing everything,” said Darling.
With the houses 10 degrees warmer than normal, Norman said he relies on fans to push the air. If air doesn’t circulate enough, the crops could go bad. With the high heating bills, he needs a successful spring season without bad crops.
“Hopefully everything is going to be sold out,” said Darling.
Norman said his biggest concern at this point is really the greenhouses. He said they don’t start their outdoor farm work for another few weeks anyway, so vegetables shouldn’t be a problem this year as long as it starts to warm up soon.