Spring Hopes Eternal

Share this post

Will winter ever end? Baby blossoms have just emerged yet we are pelted with yet another cold rain shower. California is often accused of having two seasons - wet and dry. In truth there is a huge grey scale when you survey all the microclimates of the state. As there is no balmy vegetable Shangri-La, California farmers generally stick to growing cool season veggies in winter and planting warm season ones in spring. The first day that tender seedlings can be planted is called the “first frost-free day," which in California that date is all over the map. The first day that seedlings can be safely planted ranges from Jan. 1 in Berkeley, to June 30 in Tahoe City. An average for the Costal Range, where most of our food grows, is April 1.

This makes March a bridge time for most farmers. They still have one foot in winter while seedlings in the greenhouse wait to get their roots into spring soil. Farmers are called to many weather-dependant tasks, and timing is everything. Cover crops are cresting into knee-high waves of chartreuse begging to be plowed under—if only the fields weren't so wet. Hoop houses that cover tender veggies are getting steamy in the warm sun, but left uncovered, well, it's like kids casting off sweaters in the glory of spring fever and coming home with chills.


During this “tween” season, FruitGuys buyer Rebecca North found celery root from Coke Farm in San Juan Bautista (San Bentito County), plus a fine catch of red potatoes from T & D Willey Farms in Madera (Madera County). The ultimate veggie that proves that "spring hopes eternal" is the asparagus from Cal O in San Joaquin Valley CA  Asparagus is cultivated by heaping on layers of dirt blankets, and when the sprout gets the message the frost-free days are on the way, it pushes up and out into the sun. Hello Sunshine, here comes spring!

- Heidi Lewis


Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required


Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.