A Tooele family’s tips on harvesting before Utah’s first freeze

Oct 25, 2023, 10:37 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 2:25 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a race against time for the Castagnos family in Tooele. The couple gathered the final harvest of the season on Wednesday.

What was a windy night brought a big change in the weather. After a brutal 2022, Melanie Castagnos said this growing season was a huge blessing and the significance of this year’s harvest is not lost on her family.

“We prayed for water, and we got it and then some,” she said.

The family’s journey is a testament to the unpredictable, but often rewarding nature of agriculture.

As her family gathers the last buckets of tomatoes, remnants of a bountiful yield, Melanie and Curtis Castagnos are turning their tomatoes into bottles upon bottles of food storage.

Curtis Castagnos says he’s only worrying about the tomatoes tonight.

“I’ve got carrots in the ground, and I’ll put leaves on top of them,” he said.

Katie Wagner from Utah State University says, “Things that are very tender are going to see some freeze injury.”

She urged farmers and gardeners to bring in the delicate crops promptly.

“It’s supposed to freeze tomorrow night, but it’s supposed to be raining tomorrow, so we’ve got to get as many picked as we can.” Melanie Castagnos said. “We’ve just been so blessed this year; I can’t let any go to waste.”

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A Tooele family’s tips on harvesting before Utah’s first freeze