News from the Farm | January 5, 2015

Happy New Year to all of our Full Belly Farm CSA members. We are happy to be back in action and ready to deliver your delicious boxes for 2015!

Here are a few notes from the field, observed over our break. 

At this time of year we usually have young plants growing in our greenhouses, prepared for transplanting to the field at a stage in their lives when they are less vulnerable to weed and weather pressures than if we grow them in the field from seed. This year, we have probably the largest set of transplants in the greenhouse (lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, greens etc) that we’ve ever had before. But December presented a challenging greenhouse window. Our climate is usually sunny even when it rains, but this year there were more than two weeks of very cloudy, cool, humid weather in December. This created the perfect conditions for rot and mildew diseases in the greenhouse that we have not typically had to deal with. With additional ventilation and care in watering, we were able to pull through and will be transplanting into the field in the next week or two.

The other thing of note was that we only got our first hard frost the week around Christmas. We watch the cold winter weather because fruit trees need it during their dormant period. In order to bear fruit, many fruit trees need to be exposed to temperatures between 32° and 45° for hundreds of hours. One of the issues that we saw last Spring for the first time was trees that for lack of chilling hours, didn’t bloom normally. Instead we saw a long and erratic bloom and reduced yields throughout the Capay Valley. We’re hoping for more cold, and  more rain as the winter goes forward!  

We are very grateful that we have the opportunity to take a break at this time of year. The break is important for the health of the farm and the farmers – allowing some time for family and friends. Thank you for going without your boxes for a few weeks!