Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seasonal Food and Weather Problems

I took a picture of the first asparagus to pop out of the ground at the end of March.
I have become obsessed with the weather. Frost is a relatively minor inconvenience for most people, but to people who grow their own food or who rely on a good harvest to make a living, a late frost or an early spring can be a disaster. I live in an area with a lot of apple growers and this year all of the apples bloomed early because of a warm winter. One of the women in my bee club has an orchard of approximately 200 trees and she lost all this year's crop to frost. There were two frost warnings last month, so I covered most of the potato plants, grapes, blueberries and brought the tomato plants inside. I accidentally left the tomato plants out during the second frost and lost almost all of the plants that I had started from seed. Nothing could be done to prevent the pear tree from frost and I lost every single little pear. I also lost all of my potential apple crop from both of the trees. Many of the leaves on the grape vines turned brown. The blackberries, blueberries and raspberries were unaffected.

Since starting my food challenge, it has become apparent how many foods we eat out of season. The asparagus from my garden is finished and I will not have anymore until next spring. I'm sure there are ways to store it, but it is a vegetable best eaten when fresh. Six weeks is usually the maximum amount of time asparagus can be harvested and my harvest time was about five weeks. More food is becoming available and I ate this year's first strawberry yesterday. I'm looking forward to the upcoming weeks and months for a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.

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