Image by Riverdog Farm, Guinda CA
Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop
The first sign of the changing seasons in our region is cooler nighttime temperatures. Last week we had nighttime temperatures in the low fifties. There is also a lot of morning dew which indicates that the day and nighttime temperatures are far apart, sometimes by 40 degrees!! Cooler temperatures will slow down the pace of ripening of the summer crops. It is often relieving to feel autumn coming because it means we will have fewer triple digit days and shortening daylight hours. After the full days of summer, we look forward to slowing down a bit and having time to relax.
Our greenhouses-turned-shade houses are chock-full of cooler weather, fall crops including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and ”¨lettuce. The transplants will go in the ground in the coming weeks amidst summer harvest madness. On the farm, seasons overlap as ”¨we plan and prepare for cyclical production. August is the peak of summer yet we are putting time and energy into ensuring fall and”¨ winter crops will happen on schedule. While the majority of employees are focused on summer crop harvest and packing, a”¨handful of people, primarily sisters Rosie and Consuelo, are focused on starting transplants in trays in the shade houses.
Another week of mild summer weather is predicted for the valley this week. With the cool evenings and chilly mornings of late, it”¨seems like fall is beginning to make an early appearance. As August rolls along, many of the area schools are beginning”¨classes. We employ quite a few local high school and college students during the summer months, so this fall transition is quite”¨noticeable. Our students-turned-workers are an integral part of our crews. When the students leave, the folks remaining on the crew will definitely be faced with quite a lot of slack to take up.
Mild weather is predicted for the coming week, with highs in the mid 90s. Wispy clouds cover a quarter of the sky this morning,”¨and a pleasant breeze tumbles from the south. We haven’t brought any corn to market for a week, due to the heat wave we experienced in early July. Those 110+ temps, day after day, wrecked a couple of our middle corn plantings. We have two more fields maturing, so you should see yellow corn in the next couple of weeks. Our early winter squash varieties are nearing maturity. We could harvest Acorn squash this week, if it weren’t for a common summer farm problem: not enough hands to gat all jobs done. The winter squash crew is also the melon crew. For the moment, the sweet summer stalwarts take precedent over the savory staples of fall.