What’s been going on!
What a glorious few days this week, makes one think that spring could finally come. The first 70 degree day since before Thanksgiving is quite unusual. A few other interesting bits of weather data from this past week comparing this meteorological winter (December through February) to the normal, were that we have had half of the number of days over 60 degrees than average and we are within striking distance to set the record for the wettest ever with over 17 inches of rain during the three month period. No wonder our crops are running behind schedule.
We did plant the second to last batch of vegetables for market this week with kale, broccoli raab, radishes and lots of lettuce going out in the field, just before today’s rain to water it in. Feels a little strange to look in the greenhouse and only see one more big planting of lettuce and all the rest is tiny seedings of things just for our personal garden the rest of the year. One flat of tomato seedlings will give us the 16 plants we will put in just for our use versus the 260 of the last few years and certainly the 1300 we planted for many years.
People have been asking if we will be opening the online store and taking preorders this spring and with the still unknown nature of the coronavirus variants we plan to do so but it will not be until we have sufficient quantities of produce, most likely the end of March but we will just have to see.
Picture of the week
Lots of Little Gem on the way
What’s going to be at Market?
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What’s been going on!
Two popular questions we get at market this time of year. Particularly with this summer’s much cooler than normal temperatures people are wondering what the winter will be like. I used to think that if we had a cool winter we would have a cooler summer and vice versa summer into winter because the mass of the earth wasn’t as warm as it would otherwise be. Now I realize that it really is all about the Jet Stream and how far north or south it tends to be and how amplified the waves in it are. It is all about El Nino and the other steering factors.
If you go to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center you can see their best estimates of what the winter will be like. Right now it looks like a normal fall both in temperature and rainfall, that would be refreshing, but as we move into winter it will be a bit drier than normal and as we move into late winter/early spring becoming warmer than normal but with average rainfall, much like the last few winters. This is the forecast map for the November/December/January period. So according to them nothing too cold.
The other question is of course pepper related. The pepper roaster was really invented in the southwest to roast green chile, the national vegetable of New Mexico. The question we get many times a day is “Are these Hatch Chiles?” The answer is no in two ways. First Hatch is not a variety of the New Mexican pod type, also more commonly known as Anaheims, it is a small town in southern New Mexico in the heart of the chile growing region. Of course the second no answer is because we have to grow everything we sell at the Carrboro market they certainly can’t be chiles grown in Hatch New Mexico.
That all being said, we have and do grow New Mexican bred varieties of green chile. Many of the varieties grown in Hatch have been bred just down the road at New Mexico State Univ. Over the years we have trialed and sold 8-10 NMSU varieties, most recently NuMex Joe Parker. What we can’t reproduce here is the conditions of southern New Mexico, hot arid days with cool nights in the alluvial soils of the Rio Grande valley. Those conditions lead to a more consistent pepper in flavor, heat and in meatiness. Think of Hatch chiles as Vidalia onions, there is no Vidalia variety, just a soil and climate that leads to really sweet onions. We think that the best peppers we produce, including green chile, are harvested in the next six weeks as we come closest to the warm, dry and cool night conditions of the southwest.
Picture of the Week
The perennial question is how are the turkeys? 4 weeks old
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