I think the word for the weather is bitter: Bitter cold. The temperatures outside have dropped fast. Faster than I have had time to acclimate, so you must imagine how hard it has been for our plants, and they have to stay outside. It is with a heavy heart that I tell you this week’s harvest is nowhere near the level of bounty we wanted to bring but, none-the-less, we will be there shining faces and crispy vegetables.
I would say, besides being very dry for a while, this year has been very seasonal. I felt like we had a spring, we had a summer, even a high summer, and then it meandered into fall. But then this happened. We got a season remix and temps skipped to an air of winter. First, the skies dropped a whole inch of snow on us on Friday (not much to complain about after what happened in upstate NY, but hey, we don’t have the lakes to justify it!) And then, the temps went up enough to douse the soil with a freezing rain before slinking back down into the twenties and teens. In some parts of our fields, the top several inches of the soil are frozen, with our vegetables encased. This is not something we expected to happen this early and we were caught unawares. But that is part of the game I guess, both the game of farming and that of being at the beginning of a career.
I have never in my life paid as much attention to the evening lows as I do now. And I have never cared about a difference of several degrees as much as now either. A few degrees can make all the difference. And a warmer daytime’s respite can make the difference too but unfortunately that isn’t something we are getting either. The daytime high didn’t even venture above freezing today. I was so jarred by the surprise of this arctic cold, I had to know, is this what it is always like and I somehow forgot? The answer is no. It has been a strong ten degrees colder than it usually is this time of year. And we have all felt it.
Rant over. In other farm news: This year has been overall amazing. I couldn’t have gotten through it without the amazing help and support of market-goers, volunteers, family, friends, dogs, dog-friends, and, last but certainly not least, Whistling Wolf’s wonderful first ever interns Doug and Peter. They CRUSHED IT this year and I am so grateful to have had them on board. We had a season review today. It was quite productive and insightful. It helped to put a lot of the season into perspective so that Jim and I can plan for next year. One of the most wonderful realizations about this year’s shortcomings is that many of them can be traced back to sources. It is really quite a relief to begin to understand why things went wrong and make motions to improve. Here is to kicking off a productive winter season of recon and recuperation (my version of R&R). When you see Doug and Peter at market, let them know how glad we are to have them around.
This week at market we are bringing Ten pound bags of fingerlings at a discounted price, along with the crispest veggies in town. Please come offer us good cheer at market and see us off into the winter. We will be missing you.