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from the Field

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January 9, 2016
Survived The Deep Freeze
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
The bitter cold was bittersweet and just part of the weather rollercoaster ride that we have fun experiencing as farmers. We need deep cold to kill some of our cover crops like oats and daikon radish so that we can use those field areas in the early spring without extra tractor work that live plants would require. The cold also sets back bad bugs and hopefully rids the area of plant diseases that affect our cucurbits and nightshades among others. It also gives us farmers a mental break between seasons and reminds us that winter isn't so bad. The cold did finally end the lives of many farm crops that were lingering but spared some roots and all of the high tunnel greens. Before this blast of cold we harvested all of the remaining field crops that we didn't think would survive as well as the mature arugula from the high tunnel. We added hoops and another layer of fabric protection in the high tunnel to preserve the mixed greens, kale, and arugula in there. As daylight slowly increases and approaches 10 hours we'll see new growth from crops that did survive.
Rescuing the arugula from the high tunnel right before the deep freeze occurred. Due to its maturity it would have been damaged so we harvested all of it as fast as we could. The plants themselves survived and should regrow.
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