Popular flower farm temporarily closes due to drought

Learn about why a local farm had to close down for the month of September.
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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PICAYUNE, Miss. (WLOX) - If you were to visit Coastal Ridge Flower Farm in Picayune this time last year, you would have been welcomed with a field of healthy, blooming flowers. This year? Nada.

“They look horrible,” said owner Terri Doyle. “We’ve had almost no rain since the end of May. There was enough, one time, to germinate these, but they’re suffering from the lack of rain. Many of them are stunted.”

Doyle has lived on the coast since 1981 and said she has never seen weather quite like this before.

“We’ve been farming in various capacities the entire time,” she said. “So I watch the weather and notice. It’s never been this dry, this long. This is unprecedented for us.”

Coastal Ridge is a popular U-PICK farm where many people and professional photographers go to get amazing photo ops. Doyle said now that the farm is closed for September, closing will affect business greatly.

“This will be a very serious problem,” she said. “This is our income, this is what we do for the year and typically we need to have multiple crops for the year to manage the entire year. This’ll be a big hole in the budget.”

Adjusting to this weather has caused Doyle to try to strategically plan for future crops.

“Some of that is the earlier planting and some of it’s a later planting,” she said. “Trying to figure out when it will be rainier, or more suitable for both cases.”

Doyle is hopeful that when she re-plants, she will see more sunflowers bloom so that the public can enjoy it this season.

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