Jun 22, 2010

Happy to be a CSA member 'cause the weather is making it tough all over

It's tough year for farming all over the world this year. Floods and tornados in the mid-west, cool weather and water wars in California, drought and political conflict throughout the world.  (Wow...gloomy...shake it off)

Last year the weather was great in Nevada...we actually had an abundant fruit crop. This year it has been far too cold for far too long. The growth in my vegetable garden has come to a complete stop. The greens have gone milky and bitter because the daytime temps are higher, but the warm weather crops are dormant because the air temps have been abnormally low well into the traditional growing season so the soil temps remain too low.   This is a picture of summer squash.  The weather stayed warm long enough to encourage the plant to set blossoms, then a mid-June freeze killed the foliage. 

I look into my backyard and get cranky because my hobby isn't going well and the lack of growth is messing with my dreams of donating huge quantities of fresh food this year. Then I remember that farmers deal with the same issues but on a huge scale....and their livelihoods rely on it. This year I feel really good about being a CSA member because I know that our family's support will help our farmers work through what looks to be a tough year for food. Not just in Nevada, but everywhere.


Billy said...

I look at Reno Weather every day all day long b/c the weather is so changeable. I'm especially looking for gusts, daytime highs and overnight lows.

My crops have been saved from frost damage by when I see an overnight temp near dawn of 2°C/35°F or below, out comes the row cover cloth. If the temp is -2°C/29°F I double the cloth over. Had to do that a number of times this spring. Most survived doing that.

I've tried using UV cloth over the cool veggies and will again on this hot 31°C/89°F day, but I have to make sure the cloth is above the veggies, not touching them and there are open spaces to let the breeze through. We'll see if that works. My peas are in heaven. Most of them are from organic seeds that do as well in heat as cool such as Wando for shelling and SNV8353 Sugar Pea Snap from Peaceful Valley for whole pod consumption.

Shelley said...

Gotta love agricultural technology! Not biotechnology but tools like agricultural cloth, shade cloth, soil thermometers, stuff like that. You might be interested in this...I've been keeping a personal garden blog for a few years, but I get so many questions about gardening in northern Nevada I decided to clean it up a bit and open it to anyone who wants to watch our transition from typical suburban backyard to permaculture-ish food forest. It's still sort of messy but it illustrates our thought processes and follows our search for resources…local and heirloom mostly. It’s also interesting because we’re trying to be self-sufficient in a neighborhood that loves its CC&R. Funny, but disheartening sometimes. We planted a tomato plant out front this year to see how the neighborhood and HOA responds. See it at www.ccandrfarm.blogspot.com.