May 29, 2018

Turning the corner from spring into summer has been a slow dance this year.  Here we are after Memorial Day weekend and I can honestly say it’s the coolest May I can remember.  I’d say most warm weather crops are a good 3-4 weeks behind schedule due to the cool daytime temperatures here on the Central Coast.  The cooler temperatures have kept the soil temperatures cooler as well, which is what really counts. Not to fret though, our warm weather crops will come into maturity and you will see summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, peppers, basil and much more in your CSA boxes and at the farmers markets!
 
A lot of farmers have resorted to using hoop houses to help get an early jump on the season but so far we have resisted due to the massive amounts of plastic involved. We are however starting more things in the greenhouse for transplanting, rather than direct seeding in the field, than we have in done in previous years.
 
A 25′ X 50′ greenhouse can hold 6 to 8 acres worth of transplants at a time. It’s a very efficient use of covered space when you need an early jump on the season. It also gives farmers the opportunity to still have a crop growing in the ground when the next successive crop has a 4-6 week head start. It’s not all gloomy though as the cool weather crops are doing really well.  For us this is our bread and butter, as our cool coastal growing niche stands out when the mercury soars further inland.

It looks like we are going to have an apricot crop as they are still hanging in and hanging on. No sign of the tree squirrels getting at them like we have seen in the past.
 
Even though there are still pockets of green grass up on the North Coast, the hills around here are showing hints of turning from green to a tanned blonde so we should start to see the deer becoming more and more interested in our irrigated field crops.  Not to worry though, pretty much all our fields are protected by fencing which, except on rare occasions, keeps the deer just looking in and onto our fields.