MURRAY FARMS, Bakersfield (Press Release)- Local Farm and tourist destination Murray Family Farms is dealing with one of the oldest problems for fruit farms – mice. The Murray Family cites a better than normal apple harvest combined with the import of new hay bales to prepare for October Fun Fest as the inciting incident that kicked off the first round of concerns. Testing with the health department verified what the farmer with generations of experiences expected – The population of field mice was raising to levels that might cause concern to anyone growing sweet fruit, A favorite of the furry big eared visitors. Today mice have taken to popularity as pets and advances in city wide pest control have virtually erased the idea of mice as a destructive threat to favorite crops around the world. Instead, they’ve thought of fondly by most families with a mouse of their own but the concern is still very real for farms across the state.
Not only are they prone to eating fruit off trees and in bins, but even more alarming, the damage they can inflict on tree bark opens up trees to various diseases that can permanently destroy an orchards ability to produce. With that in mind, and with respect to insuring a hospitable environment for visitors to the farm, Murray Family Farms’ Big Red Barn and Agritourism area will be closed while the issue is addressed in hopes of dealing with the concern before the organic crops of their farm and other growers in the area are put at risk.
“We understand it’s a bummer that we have to close down but mice are a regular issue that require constant upkeep when operating a business like ours” says Murray Family Farms staff Tony Hargrove. “I don’t blame them really, the farm is a great place and for a mouse it’s a dream. They love berries, stone fruit, and plenty of open space. Just coming out of berry season and into a really great stone fruit season means we’re basically a land of milk and honey for the wild life out here. We’ve used all kinds of methods to address field pests. Everyone knows about the reflective strips that keep birds away from trees but we’ve even gone so far as to install speaker systems that emit bird of prey calls but I guess the peaches smelled so good it was worth the risk for them.”
Murray Family Farms projects the new visitors to be displaced by early next week, but it’s possible that things may take longer as they comb 50+ acres for hold outs. As an Organic farm, they’ll have to take extra precautions to deal with the sudden influx in safe and humane ways that take the harvest and the furry tourists into consideration