What does September rain bring?

Dear (Contact First Name),

2013 send a pretty strong message on Saturday, the day before the Fall Equinox, i.e., the first day of fall:  Attention Northern California, it is now fall.

The “Harvest Moon” setting last week
We got over half an inch of rain in Winters on Saturday from the Storm of September, which lasted almost 6 hours here.  That would be a decent rainstorm for October, but it smashed records from Santa Cruz to Truckee.  In fact, many parts of northern CA had never seen measurable rain on September 21st before.  Most don’t usually get a half inch in the entire month.
In the wake of the storm, the air here has gotten crisp and quite chilly at night.  It feels like late October.  Except that in October, we are normally harvesting our fall crops:  broccoli, cabbage, carrots, etc.  Right now those crops are still growing.  They look beautiful and love the weather.  But they’re not ready to harvest.

Planning for September is exceptionally difficult when one year it may be the last gasp of summer, and the next the early harbinger of fall.  No one wants to eat broccoli or kale that is harvested when it is 98 degrees every day.   Heck, there are plenty of years when it is still hot here in October when those crops start to mature.

With fall in full effect, can winter be far behind?  We’re still busy harvesting storage crops like sweet potatoes and potatoes, and we have another 6 weeks of fall planting to go.  Getting behind in the fall is not the same as getting behind in the spring, because there’s no catching up in the winter.  We’re in a race against the sun, which gets lower each day this time of year.   And it always wins.

Enjoy the gorgeous fall weather.




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