March: The Fickle Season

Share this post

By Heidi Lewis

apple-blossom-transHow’s the old saying go again? “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”? Or is it the other way around? March’s seasonal unpredictability requires farmers to be prepared for a wide variety of growing conditions. Their jobs include tending to tiny baby seedlings in warm greenhouses until it’s safe to transplant them to the fields. They fix irrigation lines to be at the ready in case water is needed to combat high temperatures or a shortage of rain. Water can also be used to protect plants if there is an unexpected freeze, and some orchards even have huge heaters and fans to warm tender buds in case of a frost.

In March, fruit tree farmers in particular experience what fickle weather can do to the crucial “fruit set,” which is needed for fruit to mature. Fruit set has its tender beginnings when the soil warms; an osmosis effect brings water to the branches, buds burst forth, bees buzz, and blossom petals fall to the ground. Then—sim sala bim—baby fruit is born. It’s a delicate process where any element of extreme temperature, frost, wind, hail, or hard rain can knock the baby—cradle and all—to the ground.

March’s fickle weather also limits availability, particularly in areas that experience weather extremes, such the Midwest and East Coast. In this “in-between” or “thin” season, winter produce has been harvested, annuals (veggies that are replanted every year) are just getting into the ground, and the perennial fruits have not yet ripened.

This “pre-spring” is a good time for faith—faith that the weather will cooperate. As Gandhi said: “Faith is not a delicate flower which would wither away under the slightest stormy weather.” It’s a great time to go for a ride or walk in the country of your respective region; take in the sweet smell of the first blossoms decorating the hillside in their gossamer veils.

Enjoy and be Fruitful!

Heidi Lewis writes about farms, bees, and fruit from her home in Sonoma County, CA. She's been with The FruitGuys since they were FruitKids.

 

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.