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Winter in Newport (?)

February 18, 2016

As you might know if you live in Maine, this has been a pretty odd winter – from serious dumps of snow to t-shirts on February 1st.

At first, it might seem like this doesn’t mean much for a vegetable farm; after all, we’re inside in the winter, holed up after a long summer in the fields. It’s true that the unusual fluctuations in temperature and snowfall don’t mean much to us now, but it can have some significant impacts on the season ahead.

First and foremost, weird weather like this can make a big difference in what pest pressure we see going forward. Big, heavy snowfalls that persist through the season can actually insulate the ground, essentially tucking all the overwintering bugs for a nap under a big blanket. Bare ground, like we’ve had this summer, could be a good thing, freezing out some of those pests – except it hasn’t been that cold! We haven’t had the hard freeze that penetrates 10-15″ deep into the earth like we do some winters. Add to that the fact that we heard daffodils were blooming in late January just a few hours south of here, and we’re really not sure what to expect next summer.

All we can do is keep on washing our potatoes, flipping through seed catalogs, and try to get our act together so we have a fighting chance of dealing with whatever nature throws at us.

Stay warm! (but not too warm!)


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