Four historic fruit labels from Western Colorado have made their way into a newly-opened exhibit at the History Colorado Center in Denver.
Colorado's fruit and vegetable industry provides some $300 million to the state's economy, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Delta County, where more than 1,000 farms produce crops ranging from greenhouse plants to cattle feed, fruit growers have been on high alert this spring, losing sleep, closely monitoring temperatures, and doing all they can to protect their valuable crops.
With the early arrival of warm weather comes earlier blossoming of the area's fruit trees, and increased risk of losing crops to a freeze. One local family is trying a different method of protecting their crops from freezing temperatures and killing frost this spring: The "cold air drain."
Spring has arrived, and in the North Fork Valley the wild apricots are in full bloom. And while it's a time of celebration, springtime can be tense for the area's fruit growers.
Fruit growers in Delta County lost an estimated 70 percent of their apples, peaches, pears, apricots and sweet cherries when temperatures dropped below freezing repeatedly last spring.
As a result of the frigid temperatures between April 2 and 19, Governor John Hickenlooper has approved a primary county disaster designation for Delta County.
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