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from the Field

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December 11, 2016
Real Cold Has Descended
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
The feeling of winter has arrived, and the feeling of the arctic is supposed to greet us mid-week. These types of temperature dips truly test the cold tolerance of the various crops still growing on the farm, as well as our willingness to get outside and do some necessary farm work. Remembering to bundle up properly makes most work managable. Sunshine helps, too, though that has been mostly absent of late, or the clouds clear up right as the sun descends below tree line. Just in time for a nighttime of clear crisp cold. Since this is the first deep freeze of the fall season, we're curious to observe the varying cold intolerance thresholds that will be crossed. Probably the outside lettuces will be damaged. Under big hoops and fabric row cover are kales, arugula, lettuce mix, spinach, and baby chard (see expected harvest photo). I don't know if that is enough protection. The greenhouse was two layers of plastic and an inflatable air layer between. Inside the greenhouse we erected big hoops with row cover on top (see above photo). The hoop house and high tunnel are covered with a single layer of plastic but also have big hoops and fabric row cover inside (see below photo). The pockets of air are important protection. Next week I'll probably write about what survived and will hopefully be amazed and enthused by the resiliency of plants in the face of teenage temperatures.
Abigail surveys the regrowth of the lettuce mix, hoping it will endure the upcoming cold.
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