Right around know, you are hoping for something completely different in your TFF CSA boxes. Not just a different type of cabbage or citrus, but something entirely different from the stuff you’ve been getting from us all winter. Despite the popular idea that March is “spring”, from a farming perspective it’s actually the deep end of winter.
Asparagus is generally the first new vegetable of spring, and the season can start as early as February. A few spears did push up last month, only to be zapped by freezing temperatures as recently as 10 days ago. Asparagus spears melt down when frozen, although the plants themselves are not “killed” but rather continue to push new spears.
From a farmer’s perspective, harvesting asparagus in the pouring rain is a miserable and difficult task. So we’re actually happy we didn’t have to deal with it last month. March has started out warmer and we hope to start harvesting some amount of asparagus within a few weeks, but it would be great if it stopped raining so much. On the flip side, another big cold snap could dash those hopes and push the season back until the end of the month.
Green garlic and Spring Onions are also usually big components of our late winter and early spring boxes. But both crops have been on strike in protest of the weather. Neither has grown appreciably since early January. Both will likely begin to grow quickly with even a small improvement in the weather.
The abundance of citrus we’ve had this winter is not something to be taken for granted, even here in California. Too much rain or too much cold weather can destroy the crop, yet so far the fruit has held well on the trees. The biggest challenge this year has been getting enough dry days to harvest the big crop we have. You can expect to see lots more Navel oranges as well as a few more mandarins and plenty of grapefruit through March and into April.
Looking much farther down the road to summer: we managed to get our first tomato field planted the weekend of February 23rd, in between the storms. They are not exactly thrilled with their new home, which lacks the roof and heating system to which they had grown accustomed. But they will hold tight in the ground until we get some sunshine and warm days, hopefully sooner than later.
As always, we count on and appreciate your support during this time of year — especially in challenging years like 2019.  Hang in there, spring is coming…eventually!