Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #5, 2/14/13

What’s been going on!

Wow! Insanely busy two weeks with 14 different meetings, workshops and classes to teach, can’t wait for the growing season to kick in so I can have some time off.  The conference last Friday on farming strategies for climate change was an all-day affair and the most interesting part for me was the State Climatologist’s talk about what we might be seeing here in the next 50 years.  In many ways it was reassuring to hear his (and the climatology communities) best guess of weather to come.  The bottom line is that the southeast has always had wild swings in weather and that will continue with events becoming more intense.

From a growing standpoint while the fall first frost date appears to be moving back (creating a longer growing season) the last frost in the spring will not really be any earlier but there will be longer warm periods in early spring followed by frosts which is not a good sign for fruit producers who will lose blooms to the freezes.  While less sure, it looks like we will have a small increase in rainfall but in more intense storms with longer dry periods in between making water holding capacity (ponds, etc.) and the ability to irrigate critical.  Of course we will be having hotter summers with more days over 90 and warm nights that will affect both the plants and the farmers.

These are all things we have been seeing and adapting to for at least a decade and it is also reassuring to know that we have the tools in our reach to help manage the changes to come in long term ways like irrigation, crop diversity, good soil management practices and short term protections like high tunnels, shade cloth and row covers.  There will certainly be changes here on the farm in the crops and varieties we grow and when we grow them and there are other unknowns we will have to deal with in new insects and diseases but that is just a regular part of farming.  If you are interested here is a link to the extensive, just released, USDA report- Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation.

Picture of the Week

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Cover crops turned under getting ready for lettuce planting

What’s going to be at the market?

Another cool day on Saturday but clear.

It’s the really deep winter selection now and all great soup ingredients.  The winter potato- Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes).  A little more Spinach.  Maybe a bit of Lacinato Kale but for sure beautiful tender and sweet Collards.  Still plenty of sweet Carrots.

More and more of the brilliant and amazing Anemones, a must for brightening up winter.

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

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 sign up at the website.

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