It takes a farmer's eye and a farmer's touch to pick a bud off a tree and know if it's dead or alive.
"This one's frozen."
And Mike Hildebrand has that touch.
"We dodged a cannonball this week," Hildebrand says. "It just didn't get as cold as they said it was going to."
It was the difference between just a few degrees that fruit farmers say saved their season.
Don't don't me wrong, a large amount of the buds did die--mostly the ones further along in the development process. But enough of the tight, small buds survived the cold spell, that farmers say this is a good thing.
It's especially a good thing because farmers have to prune anyway. This way the fruit has the space to grow.
So you could call this a natural pruning process.
Moving just down the road--four generations have worked at the Teichman's Treemendous Farm. Herb Teichman points out the dozens of buds on a single branch.
"On this particular limb, probably three peaches would be plenty," Teichman explains.
So all in all, farmers won't got the season without an income...and your refrigerator won't be empty of fruit--local fruit that is.