We have recently completed our first year of organic market farming. Looking back over the year I must say that it has been full of ups and downs, but I have never regretted our decision to devote ourselves to farming full time.
With all the warm weather we have been having it doesn’t really seem like winter. Hard freezes have been sparse so far this winter and with the regular rainfall we have had all fall cool-weather plants and crops are thriving. It also looks like wildflowers will make a welcome return this spring after having almost none last spring.
I really enjoy fall and winter farming. There are many reasons why I like fall and winter growing better than spring and summer growing, but the main one is that I like to eat the fall and winter crops more than those that we are able to grow in the hot months. And when you [...]
We had our first hard freeze last week, about two weeks earlier than average, and despite having covered all of our crops we lost most of the warm weather crops. This was somewhat frustrating because the summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and green beans were all just starting to bear fruit. Luckily, I harvested all of [...]
Up until today, October hasn’t felt much like fall, but that changed yesterday evening when our first strong cold front blew in. Later in the week we may be needing to cover our warm weather crops to keep them from freezing.
Our weather has now moderated just enough to get our fall gardens planted. Our daily highs are now in the mid-90s and our lows are often in the 50s and 60s. This is perfect for tomatoes, peppers and the warm weather crops, but it is still a bit hot for cool weather plants like pac choi, collards and broccoli. Nonetheless, I planted both cool weather and warm weather transplants in the market garden last week. I also direct seeded some green beans, cucumbers and summer squash in this garden area all of which have sprouted and are growing well.
It is really tricky getting cool weather fall crops started when the weather is 100+ every day, but the window of opportunity for the fall growing season is fleeting and many crops must be set out in the August/Sept timeframe in order to have time to produce. Heck, it is still so hot that the tomatoes and peppers that I planted in early July are barely producing blooms much less fruit at this point even though they are under shade structures.
Even the most established and experienced market and CSA farmers in the Austin and Central Texas areas are saying that this spring-summer season in our area has been the hardest that they have EVER seen.