Peregrine Farm News Vol. 7 #5, 4/7/10

What’s been going on?

There is no other way to say it, this hot weather combined with the pollen storm of the century sucks! The pollen part is just amazing to us as we don’t suffer from allergies but we never can remember one as heavy as this or as early, we do feel for those who are suffering from it though. The heat is just too much, too early. We finally had to give in and set up irrigation in the lettuces and spring vegetables on Monday to try and reduce the stress on those tender crops.

Heat this early in the spring greens season is not too detrimental as they are small and with enough water will just grow faster. If we get this kind of heat in a month then that will be more devastating. When these crops near maturity and get stressed they turn tough and bitter and may even go to seed prematurely as a defense mechanism. That means no lettuce or other greens for everyone. Let’s hope this is an aberration and when we go back down to the 70’s this weekend, it will be for a nice extended period. After all April and May are possibly the two best months of the year here, I would hate to lose them.

There are a lot of important dates coming up but one issue that is time sensitive that we would like for you all to know about is the impending vote on food safety legislation in the Senate. As a member of the North Carolina Fresh Produce Safety Task Force organized by the NC Farm Bureau, we have been learning about and commenting on proposed legislation coming out of congress for several years now. The Senate is about to take up S510, sponsored by Senator Burr. Like many things is it is a complicated response to the contaminated food scares of the past few years.

While we all want healthy safe food, this legislation, written by the FDA with the help of the giant scale conventional California growers, will put many small scale, local producers out of business. The inspections, paperwork, and non-science based approaches to reducing animal pathogens will definitely hurt organic and sustainable growers. Our friends at Carolina Farm Stewardship Association have put together a good webpage with the information you need to act on this legislation. Please check it out and call your senators today!

Picture of the Week

micro sprinklers in the lettuce field trying to keep it all cool

What’s going to be at the market?

The Ranunculus have come on with a frenzy this week, nice long stems, oranges, whites, pinks. Still plenty of the amazing, brilliant Anemones, the stems are really long too.

We will have the last of our overwintered Collards, tiny leaves but sweet and maybe a bit of overwintered spinach too. More nice leeks. It continues to look like it will be several weeks before we see much in the vegetable department. Hopefully some radishes and lettuces next week.

If you haven’t been there yet, or stopped by lately, check out the website and blog for lots of good info about the farm and what we are up to. You can also subscribe to the blog there and receive the newsletter that way, along with other updates.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

If you wish to not receive this newsletter just reply so to this message or just let us know at market. On the other hand if you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to e-mail us to be added to the list.

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