Wacky Winter Weather

Wacky Winter Weather

It’s that time of year when we find ourselves longing for warm and sunny spring days. The gray and cloudy days can be long and dreary, but we know that the historically coldest days of winter are behind us. That doesn’t mean we won’t get another blast of arctic air or a giant snowstorm, but the chances decrease just a tiny bit each day.

While the weather has been a bit wacky this winter, we were blessed with a substantial amount of rain over the Christmas holiday. Typically, rain in December is not a welcome site as the ground is usually frozen solid, meaning the rain sits on top and turns into ice.

That wasn’t the case a few weeks ago. The 3+ inches of rain we received in late December was able to soak into the ground, replenishing the soil, which had become moisture depleted from the drought last summer. This was able to happen due to the fact there was very little frost in the ground at the time, allowing the moisture to soak in, instead of sit on top. We know many had hoped for a white Christmas, but we were extremely happy with a wet Christmas this year!

Greenhouse frames

Reframing the Greenhouses

These warm winter temperatures have made some of our winter work much more bearable this year. Over the past two months, we have had a crew working on replacing all the polycarbonate on the greenhouses used to produce flowers at our Waverly farm.

Greenhouse covered in new polycarbonate

Some of these greenhouses are 20+ years old, meaning they could use some substantial updates. We custom cut large sheets of polycarbonate to fit the end of each greenhouse. Over time, the polycarbonate deteriorates, becoming frail and less transparent. Transparency is especially important during flower-growing season, as we need as much sunlight to enter the greenhouse as possible.

Of course, we took a few days off as the arctic weather arrived but hope to be finishing up this project soon as flower planting will begin in just a few short weeks.

Seeding and Grafting the Tomato Plants

Speaking of flowers and signs of spring, the first of our tomatoes were seeded this week! The seeds were planted, and in just a couple of short weeks the plants will go through the grafting process. That's when we take the root stock of one variety and connect it to the scion, or the top of the plant that yields the fruit.

Young tomato plant

We choose to graft all of our tomatoes as it allows us to choose a rootstock that is more disease resistant, but maybe doesn’t produce a great tasting tomato, and pair it with a scion that might be more prone to disease, but produces a wonderful tasting tomato.

By choosing to graft our tomatoes, we get a plant that is vigorous, healthy, and produces those red and juicy tomatoes we have all come to love.

Seeds, Seeds, and More Seeds

Farmer Jerry continues to work on vegetable seed orders daily, while Paul continues to make plans for the flowers that are soon to arrive. It’s the time of year where a lot of time is spent in the office making plans for the upcoming season. The more planning that can be done January through March, the easier our season can be.

Seed catalogs

Soon enough, we will be able to share some sights and sounds of the farm reawakening for another season.

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