Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shiver Me Timbers

Arrrrrrr!  Or maybe just... Brrrrrrrr?

The farm was hit with the first heavy frost of the season last night (Sep 14/15) - which qualifies as a very early frost for our area.  Usually earlier frosts are much lighter than this one.  Some people who were in low lying areas reported temps well below freezing.

So, as a result, our plans for crops, the CSA, etc have been shaken up a little bit.  We'll work around it, of course.

Things that already show they are really and truly done:  green beans, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini.  I have not looked, but I expect the basil to be largely done - though some might survive if they were tucked under a taller plant.  Other things that will slow or have been impacted include peppers, hot peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.  Time will tell how much.

The good news - we had several days warning this was coming.  While it doesn't help our moods any to have a frost/freeze looming (especially an early one), it does help us to plan out our efforts.  So, if we seemed a little short with anyone during the last week, you have our apologies - and an explanation.   It can be rough watching the projected low go from 39 deg F to 37, to 35 to 33 to 32 and finally 31 the day before.  The funny thing is - both Tammy and I saw the 39 and the surrounding forecast and said, "uh oh!"  We knew as soon as that number hit the extended forecast that there would be frost and that forecast low would continue to dip.  Intuition maybe?

How does farm work change with an impending frost?  Well, we do a lot more picking 'ahead' of schedule.  Thursday's CSA was picked on Wednesday.  Much of Tuesday's shares were picked on Monday.  The last picking of green beans was done by pulling plants (easier on the workers).  All of the trays with seedling starts had to go into buildings.  All potted plants (that were outdoors) went into buildings.  The high tunnel was wrapped up tight, as were the coldframes.  We put remay covers on as much crop as we had remay covers for.  In some cases, we pick more of a crop than we intended because we are not sure the plants (and remaining fruit) will survive. 

For those who have sensitive plants - watch tonight's weather as well.  It could frost a second time!

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