What A Difference...

                                                   "What a difference a day makes."---Dinah Washington

Regardless of Ms. Washington's lyrical statement, a day seldom makes a difference in gardening or farming.  Maybe in the extreme case of a natural disaster or weather catastrophe.  But usually, not so much.  Especially around here lately, with cool, rainy day followed by cool, rainy day.  The crops are growing, just not as fast as we'd like.  

This morning we harvested for our third farmer's market of the season, which will be at Cheshire Medical Center tomorrow.  The outside temperature hovered at 40F all morning, in steady rain.  The ground is saturated, but fortunately our raised beds drain well, and the plants don't seem hindered.  However, by the end of harvesting, we were all moving pretty slowly, not from the work, but from being chilled to the bone, especially our hands.

Laurel and Carol cleaning vegetables.

Laurel and Carol cleaning vegetables.

Carol and Laurel near the end of the morning's harvest.  Red jackets match their hands, red from the cold.  

Carol and Laurel near the end of the morning's harvest.  Red jackets match their hands, red from the cold.  

However, even though a day doesn't make much of a difference, a year surely does.  This year we have yet to run our irrigation sprinklers in the garden, because of all the rain.  The rainwater harvesting storage tanks are completely full.  Last year's drought had us irrigating early and often.  By this time last year, the tanks were almost empty, from irrigating and a lack of rain.  We get a double benefit from rain here---the fields get watered so we don't have to irrigate, but also the storage tanks get replenished for the next time we do need to irrigate.   On June 23rd, last year, we had two tanker truckloads of water delivered, plus one more in mid-July and another in early August.  At the rate this year is starting, we may not need to run the sprinklers all season.  

Except for greenhouses, gardening and farming is very dependent on the weather and climate.  And whereas weather deals with the atmosphere on a day-to-day or even moment-to-moment basis, climate deals more with averages of the weather.  More and more these days, it seems like the weather pushes the envelope of "normal", sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler, sometimes drier, sometimes wetter, but often outside what has been considered normal in the past.  It seems like, for whatever reason, there might be something to "climate change."  

---Steve

During short break in the rain this week, there was brilliant double rainbow, horizon to horizon.

During short break in the rain this week, there was brilliant double rainbow, horizon to horizon.