The theme of winter 2022 was “False Starts”. First there was the remarkable storm that made October the wettest ever, followed by a promisingly stormy December. After two years of terrible drought, it was exactly what we needed.
Then the taps turned off completely, with shockingly low rainfall in the dead of winter that left us with the driest Jan-March period on record. It essentially cancelled out the earlier rains, leaving us in the same droughty place we were in spring of 2021. Some areas are actually drier than they were a year ago.
The theme continued with an early and abundant bloom in fruit and nut orchards — including Terra Firma’s — across the Central Valley that were then subjected to a punishing freeze that wiped out much of this year’s crop. A second, more geographically limited freeze hit vineyards, orchards and other crops two weeks ago. (Thankfully that one missed us.)
Several of our spring crops also suffered false starts. We lost fields of cilantro and arugula to a brutal windstorm. And two fields of spinach suffered a mildew outbreak after a late rain. We lost strawberries to both weather events.
This week things finally clicked, and we’ve got an abundance of green items in your boxes plus a healthy supply of berries.
Spring is always a short season for us, and our spring-harvested crops are very particular. If it gets too hot, too soon — like it did last year and the year before — the lettuce, strawberries and other sensitive crops burn up. It doesn’t even help our summer crops, most of which won’t be ready for harvest until June anyway.
“Normal” weather is getting harder and harder to come by anymore, but May feels like it may oblige us for a bit and end the season of false starts. We could use a break.