Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #8, 3/21/13

What’s been going on!

First full day of Spring?  We haven’t had a cold spring since 2009 and this winter/spring transition is really beginning to work on my nerves or at least my aging body as I just don’t enjoy working outside in 40 degree temperatures and 20 mph winds like I used to.  Probably never really enjoyed it but at least didn’t grimace as much when seeing the forecast.

The fourteen day forecast is for below normal temperatures (our normal high is in the low 60’s right now), come on.  The long range forecast for summer has us above average in temperature and normal or slightly below normal rainfall.  As discussed in an earlier newsletter this is what climate change is going to look like for us in the next 50 years, erratic springs but warmer summers and longer fall seasons.  This is where careful record keeping and crop planning are critical for successful crops.  Instead of saying “hey it’s warm in January I think I will plant early” and then it gets hammered we know from experience that we will wait and plant on certain dates, no matter the current weather, and the crop will perform as it should a high percentage of the time.

Fortunately we have hedged our bets and seeded the tomatoes a week later than planned and they will be just perfect to slip into the ground next week in the little sliding tunnels and the big planting the third week of April when we should be past our last frost.  This is the art part of the art and science of agriculture.

Despite the cool temperatures we have gotten a fair amount done these past two weeks.  The re-building of the Big Tops after last summer’s storm damage is almost done, just a few more hoops to put in place and new plastic to haul out and position, ready to pull over the hoops in a few weeks.  Planting in the field is on schedule, with more to do tomorrow before the weekend’s rains.  Crops look OK, behind schedule but the beets, carrots, turnips, peas and radishes are all up.  The big pepper seeding in the greenhouse happened Monday, all 21 varieties and 3400 seeds.  So on we go but we may skip any outside work today, too damned cold.

Pictures of the Week

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Cucumber and tomato transplants waiting to go in the ground

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Tomato trellises being built prior to sliding the tunnel over it next week

What’s going to be at the market?

We will be skipping market this week but will back for Easter weekend.  See you then.

Alex and Betsy

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