PENRYN (CBS13) — This first freeze warning of the season has sent some farmers into a frenzy because weather like this is always dangerous for citrus crops.

Gordon Poulsen takes pride in his product, picking each precious fruit by hand…

“Look how nice and juicy,” he says. “Oh yeah, it’s fabulous.”

Gordon has been picking since sunrise. If temperatures drop below freezing for a few hours, his fruits of labor could be lost.

Gordon and his wife usually sell a couple hundreds pounds of mandarins at their Willow Creek ranch in Penryn.

“We were awarded the best mandarin in the area here,” Brenda says.

Gordon had to snip 1,500 pounds of that award-winning fruit Monday alone..

“There’s a lot of high-colored fruit that needs to come off, but I can only cover so much ground,” he says.

From picking in Penryn to watering in Newcastle, mandarin farmers are working hard to beat the freeze.

“We’ve been watering for the last couple days trying to keep the ground a little saturated with warm water,” Duane xxx of Newcastle says.

He says this years been kind to his crop.

“The sweetness of the fruit came in real nice,” he says. “The color took a little extra time but it’s turned out so awesome this year.”

This first freeze warning of the season comes a bit soon but Duane’s not worried.

“We’re up on a hill so we get a little bit of a downflow of air,” he says.

But for the Paulson’s, freezing fruit is a risk they’re not willing to take.

“Usually the freeze comes in January when the mandarins are all off,” Brenda says.

Their peppers also are in a danger zone from the freezing temperatures expected the next two nights.

“I went and picked all the bell peppers today,” Gordon says.


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