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  (Climax, Michigan)
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The Long Winter of 2014

April 4, 2014 and there are still piles of snow scattered about the farm, some still almost waist deep where it was piled from plowing driveways. It isn’t even close to being warm, but we’ve had a few sunny days of late and we are grateful for that! It’s amazing how quickly a little sunshine will warm up the greenhouses and high tunnels.

 

Normally we grow salad greens all year long, but it didn’t turn out that way this year. Lots of things froze solid during the really cold and windy stretches in January and February. The cold that seemed to go on forever. Even though Larry kept the wood burner well stoked, we still lost the lettuce crop once.

 

Starting the greenhouse tomato crop was delayed by several weeks due to the cold and a forecast of continuing cold for several weeks. Rather than risk losing the crop of 2,000 tomato plants, we delayed seeding as long as possible and still have tomatoes for the summer. Fortunately, temperatures, although not warm, are much more moderate now than earlier in the year. And the snow has finally melted so that we can get to all of the high tunnels. At one point the snow drifts were as high as the peak on a couple of them. Even for us, that's unusual, although we get a fair amount of snow here in SW Michigan. We shouldn’t have to worry about soil moisture this planting season! We do have plants started for the high tunnels but soil temperatures are not where they need to be just yet for transplanting. Maybe a few more sunny days and we’ll get there.

 
 
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