Spring Awakens Early

12 Mar

So long winter! Climate change is really showing itself this year with such warm days in mid-winter. We have experienced the warmest winter yet in our 5 years here in Keihoku, Kyoto. Although this picture shows a wintery Keihoku landscape, the total snowfall was also very low.

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On the one hand, warmer weather means we can get started in the garden earlier than usual, but it also means that pests like cutworms get an advantage. Deeper frost and lower temperatures can help alleviate some of the pest pressures on our crops but eliminating some of their larvae and eggs. But we are anticipating a challenging spring given the warmer weather, which means higher survival rates of a variety of insects. Our game plan is to use increasingly more floating row cover to protect our young plants.

Seedlings have begun sprouting under our full-spectrum grow lights with eggplant and peppers being the first to germinate in February.

In early March we also seeded 22 varieties of heritage tomatoes, along with parsley, basil, kale and head lettuce. The cooler weather crops will get a head start this year with warmer days.

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In fact, it has been so warm, that we spotted amphibian action already! These are Japanese fire belly newts (Cynops pyrrhogaster) , win the salamander family. These babies were found under some rotting logs in our garden.

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This year, we will once again offer our weekly organic food box program to families wishing to receive veggies directly from the farm. We will start the program in June. Families can purchase weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on their needs. There is no long-term commitment required, keeping the box program flexible for traveling families over the summer holidays. Simply contact us one week prior to your desired deliver date and we will reserve you a spot. Please visit our Facebook Page at Hello Farm Organics for more regular updates on our organic veggie box program.

 

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