Weather – What Can You Do?
NEWS FLASH: It’s hot!
Oh my, is summer upon us! I remember when I started with HCFM 2 years ago, we were in the midst of a miserable cool and rainy summer, remember that? Many farmers lost crops, some replanted, but okra had mildew, cucumbers were fat and waterlogged, as were tomatoes. It was a tough year.
As we continue to grow and expand, with more farmers coming from the greater region, some of the effects of bad weather might be less noticeable, but farmers will always have to contend with fickle conditions. No two years are the same, which makes farming fun and frustrating. One of the very smartest farmers I know confided in me yesterday that this year was “challenging.” When I was in the wine business, that term meant “terrible.” Inconsistent rain, mixed in with too much hail, and blistering heat mean we will test our farmers mettle, for sure.
Still, what produce arriving at the market has been great, hasn’t it? We just saw corn yesterday, and it was near perfect. Blackberries have been beautiful, and the peaches have been wonderful, too. With the heat coming on so strong, okra is arriving early, and looking good. Greens will be done for a while, but we have squash and zucchini coming out of our ears. Such is the nature of the farming game.
Let me also pass on a little tidbit Chris and Teri Noel of Limestone Farms shared with me a while back: hens stop laying eggs when the temperature tops 92(ish). Really! In fact, they only brought 10 dozen eggs to market last week, a fraction of what they normally bring. Jeter Poultry also reports egg production has stalled. Let’s hope for some cooler weather to get the hens back to work. Whether they lay or not, hens want to eat, so heat spikes like these last two weeks put a considerable burden on egg providers.
In the meantime, come out to the market and load up on heat-friendly items like okra and tomatoes.
See you at the market!