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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tricky Transition

It is like this every year, only this year more so. We have a transition from early (spring) season greens grown in unheated hoophouses to summer field production fully dependent on mother nature. This was a tricky transition, as May early dry turned to heavy rains and saturated fields. Ongoing cool temperatures and sodden soil made it difficult to get on there with a tractor and tiller in order to plant. Early attempts resulted in salad greens rotting away, weeds taking hold, and beans not even bothering to poke their heads out above ground. In June, a month of more rains and cool days and nights. Then, as we hit July, we are playing catch-up with weeding, tilling, and planting. Finally a sequence of warmer nights and sunny days with splashes of rain and sprinklers now and again mean that greens are finally growing as they should and market tables are beginning to look more fullsome.

All this while, greens growers with commercial climate-controlled greenhouses have been able to enjoy steady, regular production whether growing in soil or hydroponically, sheltered from the cool, the wind, the rains, the intense sun without worrying about the elements outdoors, the rampant weeds and grasses choking out plant growth, and the flea beetles chomping holes in the arugula and mustard greens in the fields. In their year-round controlled environment, plants live the life of Riley, like comfortably pampered condominium dwellers, fed by a steady diet of constant temperature and moisture, clockwork heat and light, and packaged soil or pumped-up water. Just how energy-efficient are their heating and cooling systems, anyway?

Now, our field production is finally coming into its own as the greens pick up natural sun, dew, rain, wind, and mineral-rich nutrients from the worked-up organic soil. Now we’re in business.  After all, there’s nothing like the deep, juicy, bold flavour and enhanced nourishment of field-grown, especially fresh-picked from mineral-rich organic soil! 

From earth to mouth in one day – the healthiest way there is.