What’s been going on!
Our favorite “holiday” of the year is this weekend and it is not the Super Bowl but rather Groundhog Day. As I wrote in 2010 it is the unofficial end to winter and the beginning of spring, at least around these parts and as such I see it as one of the two agricultural related holidays, the other being Thanksgiving.
The time between those two holidays, interestingly, also corresponds to what is known as the Persephone period when the day length is less than 10 hours of daylight. Below 10 hours of daylight and most plants go into a suspended state and barely grow at all. Technically at this latitude, this winter, it ran between Nov. 27th and Jan. 16th but who’s checking, it’s been dark. The good news is that the days start getting longer really fast now, gaining two minutes a day for the next several months.
For those who forgot all of their Greek mythology Persephone, the goddess of spring and nature, was abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld. As the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the head gods, Demeter forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. When they finally persuade Hades to release Persephone things began to grow again but she was obliged to spend a third of each year (the winter months) underground, and the remaining part of the year with the gods above. Fortunately for us that period doesn’t even last two months.
All of the greens that have been at the Farmers’ Market the last several months were planted early in the fall so that they could grow to maturity and then they have just been sitting there waiting to be harvested. One of the reasons there will be shortage of greens over the next few weeks is that most people have harvested everything they had and are now waiting on things to either re-grow or for newly planted crops to get to size. That is certainly the case with us, it will be nearly a month before we will have lettuce again even though we planted it in early December. The good thing is the Anemones don’t care about day length, must not be Greek.
Picture of the week
Working on the new deer fence, a long line of posts ready.
What’s going to be at Market?
Betsy will have lots of brilliant Anemones to brighten even the darkest day.
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
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Pardon if this is obvious to everyone except me, but if the lettuce plants hardly grow at all during the Persephone period, why would you plant it in early December rather than wait until after the Persephone period?
they do grow very slowly but the roots grow as well so that when the daylight increases they are established and ready to move fast, we get mature lettuce faster than if we waited to plant.
Makes sense. Thanks so much.