We had a hard freeze on Saturday night -- temperatures as low as 24 degrees out here. Only time will tell how that wintery weather will affect our our fruit trees, but as of Monday morning, the tart cherries are looking good, and so are most of the peaches. Fortunately, we have several different varieties of peaches, and they develop on different schedules, so any frost damage should be minimized by diversity.
Protecting strawberries from freezing temperatures is a different kind of challenge, in part because they're so close to the ground. We had already re-covered the new strawberry fields on the previous weekend, but the older field was still exposed, so we tried a technique that's counter-intuitive: we hooked up the irrigation system and sprayed water on them all night. The ice that formed on the plants was actually several degrees warmer than the air, so it served as insulation, like snow does. Twenty-four hours later, most of the iced strawberry plants look fine, so our hopes are still high for another great crop of red gems.
We plan to plant more cantaloupe and Crenshaw melons this year to make sure there's plenty of sweet stuff regardless of the unusual weather.
No You-picking this week. The winter kale and spinach are picked out, so we've closed that field. Wagons will still run the farm tour loop at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 this week.
Delivery days for group sites and and home delivery members will be determined at the end of May, after we've sold most of our shares. Watch Crop Talk for that information and other news.