So, it was 80 degrees the other day and it was March 18th, pretty cool right? Yep, I’m not complaining either. Since the Opening Day of the Market and the start of our Central Mi CSA program both are affected by the weather I thought I’d share what this could mean for the 2012 produce season. Of course I don’t have a crystal ball and who knows what April will bring, but I’m guessing rain and slightly above normal temps with at least 2 cold dips. These 70 and 80 degree days do affect Michigan produce especially the perennial types like asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, and most fruit trees too. The obvious concern is an early budding and growth spurt among fruit trees then a frost during blossom, that makes for a poor crop and high prices, things we don’t like. I talked with a friend the other day who grows several acres of asparagus and he thinks he’ll have asparagus by Mid to late April if the weather between now and then looks average. These warm days really cause the ground to warm and the plants to start their growing season. Cool weather can slow it but as long as it’s in the 50′s and 60′s plants will still grow. Some years they don’t start until early May just to give you an idea, strawberries are already growing in the fields.
Weather and The Central Mi CSA
So what am I doing and how is the weather going to affect the CSA? Well, I’m planning on asparagus and strawberries, which are the first fruit and vegetable we usually have, being early by about 2-3 weeks and I’m working on having a variety of other crops ready too. We’ve got tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, and some squash started already. We usually wait about two more weeks on the cucumbers and squash, because the start so quick and they have a short maturity date. I’ve been looking for more 45-60 day stuff to start too that will compliment the fresh Michigan asparagus and strawberries in May. Just to be safe we will also be planting in the High Tunnel so if we get damage from the cool dips that will surely come we’ll still have lots of good food.
We still have around 20 CSA shares left for the 2012 season, you can purchase a 1/2 share or a full share and we are also offering a “Market Share” that lets you save around 15% to 20% at the market this summer. You can learn more about our Mid Michigan CSA Farm by visiting the “Join the CSA” page.