Well, despite yesterday’s frost warning for the Interior, our gardens are still going strong. Sure, they’re showing all the late season signs, but our frost sensitive plants are still standing.
We want to share our take on these exceptionally “late first frosts.” Given that we’re easily 14 to 20 days past due for a frost, we’d like to offer an opinion on how you might interpret or respond to such things. We hope that our opinion strikes you as honest and not tied to any kind of agenda other than growing food. This is the kind of discourse we like to bring, genuine and helpful to anyone and everyone regardless of any other opinions you might have.
We fully disconnect any level of climate science or (especially these days) any “climate narrative” from our growing efforts. Weather and climate have always been different from each other. What any given season will do cannot be fully understood in the context of climate. Likewise, climate cannot inform any given season’s weather. Frost dates have been and always will be averages.
Instead, we use our experiences of growing in a cold climate to inform us as to what might happen. What we are absolutely certain of is that we have an inevitable dive into cold temperatures coming. That’s climate talking. When that exactly happens is anyone’s guess. That’s the weather.
What we do “know” is that the later the frost, in general, the more quickly and suddenly that inevitable weather shift will descend upon us. A late first frost “usually” means a sudden and rapid descent into our “more typical” cold temperatures we’d see in late September and early October. Could even that be challenged in a given season? Absolutely. Again, weather’s a wild beast that will not be tamed.
So, when you’re dealing with an exceptionally late first frost as a grower, what do you do? It means you need to be prepared. Our experience tells us that the later we get past our average first frost date without one, the less time you’ll have to harvest any of those “last minute” crops.
We’ll tell you, we’re recalculating our late season harvest strategy. We’re likely to play long games where that makes sense and might cut short other things that also make sense. This is one of the things that fascinates us as growers. No two seasons are the same and we’re always on our toes.
Oh, and please, if you’d like to discuss…let’s keep it tied 100% to growing. Thread the needle, as it were, like we did in this post.