The rains, tomatoes, and Memorial Day frost…

Well, after a spring which has been devoid of any moisture (or so it seemed), the past few days have brought record rain here in Litchfield County.  Thursday was four to five inches depending on where in the state you reside and it was close to being too much.  Thankfully the air has been swirling heavily, winds of up t0 thirty miles and hour are helping pick the moisture up off the over saturated ground.  Our fields which are relatively high (900 feet) tend to drain well – though our farm stand field has a lot of clay in it which makes for a bit more water logged soil then on other parts of the farm.   Now, on top of all this is the very cool temperatures all around new England.  There talk of snow flurries in Norfolk (nope), hail in Cornwall (yes), and people were scrambling to cover their newly planted tomatoes from frost (some towns did have some).  Most of the talk was just that, talk, but it was very cold for the late May date – twenty degrees below the average.  Thankfully, except for some row cover and plastic mulch which came undone, Waldingfield has had no real damage from the past three days of weather.  

So what does all this weather mean?  The salad greens, sugar snap peas, and hearty cooking greens love cool air and rain and are thriving today as the sun is now shining on them.  Later this week when the temps hit the 80’s they are going to explode.  Already we have broccoli raab, tat soi, radishes, leaf lettuce, and braising mix, all of which will be available for much of the next six weeks.  We should get off to a strong start when the CSA program starts in two weeks and the markets are starting to bring in strong revenues.  The summer plantings of early squashes, cucumbers, etc.,  are all fine, if a tad chilly. If there is a draw back to the rain and cold is that we may have had to delay the tomato planting for a few days.  We were set to start last week but the cool air and rain prevented us from taking the chance on frost.  Now the ground is too wet to get the tractor and transplanter into the fields.  Same for a big potato planting.  Everything else we can do with the crew by hand if need be.  The picture above was all planted by hand during the rains on Thursday…

The market season is finally getting going (two down and three more to start in next two weeks) and though the rains on Saturday put a damper on what is historically a big weekend for us at the farm, we are bullish onn a big season of market sales. Our increased inventory and crop variety will all but ensure we have plenty of supply for all our CSAs and our five farmers markets.  Of course, weather and desease permitting.  We are looking for a record year… sweet!!

As the season is rolling now and we look back on the spring that never seemed to begin,  it is also time to turn inward for some reflection.  Memorial Day is a time for family gatherings, summer homes being opened for the season, kids getting ready to leave school.  Most importantly a time to remember those who bravely served our country.  In fact, it is our duty as citizens to remember and honor all who serve, despite ones politics, and we at Waldingfield say thanks to all those who served our country.  

Have a great holiday weekend.

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