It’s feeling like Summer this week, with sunny and very warm weather here with just enough cool air trickling in from the foggy Bay to keep it from getting too hot.  If it gets hot too early in the Spring it can be very stressful at Terra Firma, since most of the items we are harvesting don’t enjoy heat.  But if it stays cold, like it did last year, our summer crops don’t thrive and their harvest gets delayed.

So far this spring has performed an intricate seasonal two-step, warming up for a week or so, then cooling back down for a few days or longer.  That has kept the tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and watermelons growing nicely without causing problems with our harvest of strawberries, asparagus, peas and lettuce.  It’s also been nearly ideal for the humans at the farm, allowing us to gradually get acclimated to warmer weather.  If we’re lucky, that little dance will continue through the end of May.  By Memorial Day, we’ll be ready to say goodbye to Spring and hello to actual Summer.

After many years of experimentation, we’ve determined that it really doesn’t make sense to plant crops like Lettuce or Peas too late into the spring.  For us, it’s not a question of “whether or not” it will get too hot for those crops, but “when”.  June 1st is both a convenient marker date and, on average, the average date by which we’ve had our first heatwave of the season.

In the meantime, though, you’ll start to see the forerunners showing up — like the Peaches in the Medium and Large boxes today.  And while the first Zucchini was not quite ready to harvest in time for this week’s boxes, we are harvesting it today and you will see it in your box next week.

And speaking of forerunners, the Red Onions in your boxes are a preview of our coming dry Onion season.  We’ve started harvesting them for curing in the field, during which time the skins will thicken up and the red color will increase.  We’ll be working on onion harvest for the next couple of weeks.  Garlic is almost ready for its annual harvest too — another indicator of summer’s imminent arrival.

One of the more novel aspects of this summer 2024 will be the bumper crop of Apricots that we currently have hanging on the trees.  Thirty years ago, thousands of apricots were grown in Winters, and the annual harvest was a focal point of agricultural activity here.  In recent years, though, the trees have produced little or no fruit at all, and no one seems to understand why .  On a larger scale, it’s not a big deal for the community since most of the orchards were removed in the 1990s.  But we still have 300 trees — a sizable quantity for our small farm.  If you’re a fan of apricots, this will be a good year.  They won’t be ready for quite a while though, possibly late June or even early July.