David Frazier is walking through the Robbins Garden, part of the Westside Community Garden Initiative in Pittsfield. The garden which hasn’t been planted for the season yet, is sprouting a few perennials like onions and carrots.
Frazier is chairman of the Westside Garden Community subcommittee. This garden, which was opened in 2007 on a city-owned lot, provides underserved Pittsfield residents with fresh produce in the summer months.
With high temperatures around 80 last week, and lows below freezing the next, the abrupt changes in weather could have lead to irreversible changes in the area’s agriculture.
The warm weather and little snowfall has shortened the maple sugaring season and set conditions right for brushfires. Frost has damaged fruit trees in this week’s return of overnight temperatures below freezing.
John Vittori, owner of Hilltop Orchards in Lenox, Massachusetts, has said that because of the mild spring his apple trees budded about 5 weeks ahead of schedule.