Unless you’re a skier or a Water Resources Department manager, you’ve been pretty happy with the warm, dry weather this February. Let’s face it, everyone was pretty tired of wet weather after the six weeks in a row we had back at the end of 2012. Did I leave farmers off the list? Well, it depends.
Farmers in California are always worried about filling up the reservoirs that provide our summer irrigation water. But the early season rains did a pretty good job of that. And the dry weather of the last month has given everyone an opportunity to get caught up on work that can’t be done when it’s wet. But if it doesn’t rain soon, everyone will have to start irrigating permanent crops like orchards and vineyards, and grazing land for livestock will start to dry out and grasses wilt. So the vast majority of farmers would prefer that we get a few more weeks of storms before summer planting season starts in April. But not too much rain, of course. That would cause problems with the blooming of fruit and nut trees.
Here at Terra Firma though, we are on the fence. Unlike most farms in Northern California, we harvest crops in the rain every winter. But that doesn’t change the fact that just about everything we do this time of year: dig carrots, pull leeks, cut broccoli and cauliflower, bunch greens…is much, much easier to do when you’re not dressed in a waterproof suit and rubber boots, slipping in the mud, with rain pelting you in the face. If you’ll pardon the expression..DUH!
Harvesting vegetables in the dry, sunny, warm late winter weather we’ve been having is actually very pleasant work. The crops seem to prefer it as well to constant downpours.
That said…February rainfall this year was the lowest on record here and the ground is dry. We’ve had several windy days and yesterday the air for miles was brown from dust blowing. We’re all caught up with weeding and planting and other tasks we absolutely cannot do when it’s raining. So we’d like to see the weather change in March and get some rain. Otherwise, we will start the irrigation season already behind, and it’s really hard to catch up when that happens. And even if the reservoirs and groundwater basins are full, the earlier everyone starts irrigating, the faster they will drop.
LATEST RECIPESWalnut-Apple Romaine Salad
Spanish Kale and Garbanzo Stew
Winter Salad with Carrots and Apples
Manhattan Vegetable Chowder
Sweet Potato-Leek Soup
VISIT FULL RECIPE ARCHIVE
Search our recipe archives below. Enter an ingredient or keyword.
CLICK HERE FOR MEMBER NEWS
How does an Orange become Organic?
Why is some of Terra Firma’s citrus fruit Certified Organic, and some not yet? There’s a pretty simple explanation and it helps explain some of the quirks of how we farm and get you such a wide variety of produce. … Continue reading
The View from Below
As you probably have heard, over the last week a series of events occurred at Lake Oroville — the second largest reservoir in the state — that caused the mandatory evacuation of almost two hundred thousand people living downstream in … Continue reading
Fifty years before Terra Firma came into existence, George Hemenway tended dozens and dozens of acres of fruit trees and vegetables on much of the land we currently farm. He kept a handwritten daily dairy of his work on the … Continue reading