Strawberry farmers cope with after effects of August floods

ALBANY, LA (WAFB) - The August floods hit strawberry farmers just as they were preparing their fields for planting, but the mild winter this year is helping some bounce back.

Heather Hughes has been teaching kids about strawberries at Miss Heather's Strawberry Farm for 15 years. On March 30, it was first graders from Zachary Christian Academy. Back in August, Hughes wasn't sure she'd have anything to show the kids.

"Pretty much, the whole 500 acres went underwater at least two foot." Hughes added.

With a lot of work, Hughes was able to plant on time. Others weren't so lucky. Last September, the Poche-Landry Strawberry Farm was still in weeds. Rhonda Poche knew then that this season would be a wash.

"Right now, I just see disaster, and when you can ride an airboat all across, and there's nothing left," Poche said. "You knew. You just knew."

On the farm, there are good years and there are bad years. Farmers learn to plow through it no matter what. For Hughes, missing a season of little hands plucking berries was never an option.

"You don't come here and not get dirty. You're gonna get dirty," Hughes said, laughing. "Whether it's strawberries all over your face. That's the cutest thing. To see the little ones."

Maybe next year all berry farmers will get to laugh.

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