Six weeks ago, the “prognosticator of prognosticators” Punxsutawney Phil predicted more winter. And we got it! It is, at long last, the first day of spring, and it certainly feels like it for a change. With a high in the mid-40s, it felt like a heat wave after endless weeks of sub-freezing temperatures. We took the opportunity to take care of some outdoor tasks, cleaning out the packshed, prepping our vehicles for the coming months of farm work. But that’s NORMAL for this time of year, and with another cold snap ahead, we’re just ready to get on with it already. So are our seedlings – thanks to a cozy germination room and greenhouse, they’re popping through the soil and ready to grow! It got up to 95F in the greenhouse thanks to the warmth and all the sun, so we even had to crack open the doors a little bit. We’re chalking it all up to yet another year of bizarre weather. How many polar vortices will there be, anyways?
But how does this affect us as farmers? That remains to be seen when the time comes to plant, but for the most part we stick to our plan. Starting seeds earlier doesn’t seem to give a much earlier harvest – once plants are outside, after all, they’re subject to the weather, whatever it may be. And onions, our first crop to seed and plant, take a lot of their cues from how many hours of daylight there are. And in exceptionally warm springs, like 2012 when we had 70 and 80 degree temperatures this time of year, we still fully expect a frost or two in May.
So here’s hoping we can look forward to a lovely spring once this next cold snap / polar vortex passes through, and our plants will be ready to go in the ground before long! – Dennis, March 20th, 2014