Poteet farm thrives after learning lessons from February 2021 freeze

Garcia Farms tells KSAT what it learned from last year’s weather disaster and how it’s farming for the future

Garcia Farms in Poteet suffered big losses following the 2021 February freeze. But they’re learning how to adjust.

POTEET, Texas – A multi-generation, family-run farm in Poteet has learned the key to success -- adapting.

Last year, the Garcia Farms, which grows strawberries, took a hit. The February winter storm wreaked havoc on its crops.

“A lot of our plants got damage. They got hit hard. We lost production,” said Ronin Garcia.

But this year, the farm is thriving. Despite recent waves of freezing weather, the crops look healthy. That’s thanks to Ronin Garcia and his father, Donovan Garcia, trying different methods to protect their crops.

“The nitrogen that goes into the soil actually creates a greenhouse effect because of the plastic. It creates a more dense atmosphere underneath the plastic, and that creates a temperature rise above what the actual temperature is on the outside,” explained Donovan Garcia.

The Garcias have learned through experience. You could say farming runs in their blood.

“I’m a sixth-generation strawberry farmer. I’ve been out in the fields since before I could walk,” said Ronin Garcia.

His father, Donovan Garcia, told KSAT how their family farm weathered last year’s storm. Instead of giving up, they did the thing you’d least expect.

“We actually decided to grow even more and start a second patch at a different location…the temperatures are always going to vary from one part of the county to another. We decided to spread out our produce in different areas and take a chance,” stated Donovan Garcia.

Now, their plants are on track. The Garcias predict a good harvest.

“It’s a good family tradition. I take it to heart. I love my grandpa to death. He was my role model, and like my father, I like serving the community. I like helping the community most,” said Ronin Garcia.

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About the Author:

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.