State

June frosts affecting northern Maine farms and gardens

It’s early June, but the last few days have felt more like winter than summer as unseasonably cool temperatures have rolled across the state.

But in Aroostook County, the cold has packed a punch. Temperatures have dropped down low enough that at least one anxious gardener in the St. John Valley reportedly is keeping their tomato plants on their kitchen tables for safety’s sake, in a slight twist on the farm-to-table movement. And one farmer who wasn’t able to bring all his seedlings inside for safekeeping has paid a price.

“Our blueberries took a beating. Our cucumbers got all frozen and we had to throw them out,” Joe Bouchard of Bouchard Family Farm in Fort Kent said Thursday. “The tomato plants were in the greenhouse and they still got a touch of frost.”

One recent night, the temperature dropped down to 26 degrees, he said. That’s the night that proved fatal to the 30 or so cucumber seedlings, which also were in his greenhouse. And that was just the worst of four or five frosty nights.

“I’m kind of used to it. We’ve seen cold springs before,” Bouchard said. “The thing is, it was warm and everything was budding. It was going good. Then we got the killer frost. That hurts.”

The Fiddlehead Focus/St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “June frosts affecting northern Maine farms and gardens,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Abigail Curtis, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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