I was completely shocked yesterday when I came inside for a drink of water and checked the weather map at Weather Underground.   Not at how warm it was here on the farm — 96 degrees is a hot day for May, but  not unusual and certainly not a record.  What shocked me was that it was the same temperature in downtown San Francisco as it was here.

Bay Area folks don’t need me to tell you that yesterday (Tuesday) broke records all across the region.  In fact, according to the National Weather Service, it broke the high temperature record at all 17 sites they keep track of down there.  And today is supposed to be a repeat.

Planning for heat around here is almost part of our DNA.  Since last Monday we have started work at 6 a.m. to take advantage of the few hours of cool in the morning.  Right now we still have half a dozen crops that do not like heat:  strawberries, spinach, lettuce, and other leafy greens.  We need to get those harvested, packed, and into the cooler before it gets to be much over 80 degrees.  In other words, it’s a race against the clock.

The worst late spring heatwaves we have around here can take us up well above 100 degrees, and often involve hot wind.  On days like those, it can be 80 degrees at 7 a.m. and we are forced to cancel harvest of delicate items completely.  The current “warm spell” as forecasters in Sacramento are calling it isn’t so bad.

However, heatwaves like this one present another problem for us that is completely outside our control.  We keep Terra Firma produce cool every minute until it is delivered — even the building where we pack your boxes is air conditioned, and our trucks are refrigerated.  But we rely on Mother Nature and your fabulous Bay Area breezes to keep it cool and fresh once we drop your boxes off.  The timing of this spring heatwave could not be worse, falling as it does on both of our delivery days down there.

Your pre-cooled CSA boxes will stay fresh for a few hours after delivered today and tomorrow.  But the sooner you pick them up and get the contents in the fridge, the better. Make sure to open any plastic bags or poke holes in them before doing so though, to release the warmer air inside.   It’s probably also a good idea to eat or prepare your fruits and veggies in a couple of days.

If you pick up your box on Wedsnesday, you have already gotten an email reminding you to pick up your box in a timely fashion.  We will also send one out tomorrow.  I apologize if I am being repetitive.

Stay cool today and tomorrow, relief is coming on Friday.  Making sure you get the highest quality produce is our highest priority.