When I was writing last month, I thought for sure we would be in the swing of Spring temperatures by the time I wrote again, but as I write this on the day before the first day of Spring, we are awaiting another two storms to hit this week. Temperatures are warmer in most of the High Desert, allowing the planting of snow peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, beets, and even lettuce and spinach if you are prepared to shelter them in the event of frost. Spinach can take a light frost, but let it thoroughly defrost and warm up before cutting. Lettuce can take a very light frost making it sweeter, but not very much, so best to cover those tender heads if temperatures are forecasted to plummet.
Here at Moonstruck Farms, I am still standing here in shock at how different this Winter season has been compared to last year. We are still awaiting the first tulip, whereas last year, we were harvesting the last of the tulips at this time. We are grateful for hardy ranunculus, which are all in the fields now and are just awaiting warmer temperatures to take off and bloom. The lack of a greenhouse to extend our season is hitting us hard this season. The high winds are making it hard to find a safe day to cover the greenhouse, but just the same, we are moving ahead with the season and planting cold hardy flowers and vegetables in both the fields and the grow room in the basement. After this week’s storms, all the cold hard flower trays will be moved outside, and the shelves will be filled with tomatoes, peppers, and basil. The rain and snow are so incredible it is really hard to be disappointed with the season, and this is what farming is all about…changing pace according to Mother Natures’s whim!
The farmers markets have really been affected by the weather, but I am hoping that tomorrow, the first day of Spring, will soon see an end to that. The citrus season is in full swing, and the Spring crops are coming in from down the hill with a nice extra crispy sweet flavor thanks to the cooler temperatures. Strawberries are sweet, and blueberries and raspberries are not far behind! Join us at the Phelan Farmers Market on Mondays now 2 pm to 6 pm at 4128 Warbler Road in Phelan or the Wrightwood Farmers Market on Fridays from 3 pm to 6 pm, but stay tuned for Spring hour changes.