The person who invented the three-day summer weekend was not a farmer — it’s hard enough to stop work for one day during that time of year when days are long and crops never stop growing, much less three.
Thanksgiving on the other hand, comes at a time of year when even farmers can take a day off. It serves as a deadline of sorts for us at Terra Firma: our season never ends, per say, but Thanksgiving forces it to pause.
Adding rain to the picture is even better. The timing of the coming wet storm could not be more perfect for Northern California — unless you’re planning on driving to the mountains, of course. The storm winds will blow away the awful smoke that has plagued us for over a week now, and the rain will put out the fires and settle 9 months worth of dust. If you took one for the team by planning an outdoor Thanksgiving celebration, the state thanks you.
For us, the rain also makes it easier to stop working for a few days. The last time we had two days off in one week was the last time it rained in the spring. That’s unusual, as we almost always get a “lay day” or three from a storm sometime in October or early November. We always take Thanksgiving itself off, but depending on the year, we often work Wednesday, Friday and/or Saturday of this holiday week. This year the plan is three full days off (W,T,F), thanks to the rain. And if it’s still raining Saturday, well heck, we’ll take that off too, making it a full five days (unheard of and probably unlikely).
We will also finally be able to turn off the pumps and stop irrigating. One of the best things about growing winter crops in this part of Norcal is not having to irrigate them much. That hasn’t been true so far this fall, with record-low humidity levels and frequent strong dry winds. And the super-dry air has been far too cold — we’ve had frost every morning for a week. The rain will end that.
But before the rain arrives, we also have a long, long, LONG list of other stuff to get done. This late in the year, it’s safe to assume that the rain plus the short days will keep things wet for a month or longer. So for the last few days, we haven’t just been frenetically harvesting crops for the pre-Thanksgiving rush. We’ve also been finding spots to plant the last few vegetables of the year — carrots, onions, peas and spinach. And racing to get the rest of the farm planted with cover crops that will protect the soil from rain and wind while providing critical nutrients for next summer’s harvest.
We wish you, your family and friends a wonderful and wet Thanksgiving and thank you for helping support our farm all year!