Baby, it’s been COLD outside! Waking to see the frost on the ground again this morning, I immediately thought of our farmers. It is EXTREMELY challenging to be a farmer in NC in February!
- The warm days get the plants all excited and growing like spring has sprung.
- Then BAM! another cold front comes through, the temps drop like a rock and the farmers are scrambling like crazy to protect and hopefully save their crops.
So, what happens at TPB if a farmer suddenly loses the crop we planned to buy from him? Two weeks ago, we were supposed to have spinach but just before harvesting, the temps dropped low enough that Dave could not save his spinach. When things like this happen, we do our best to help this farmer by buying another crop from him if possible. Two weeks ago, it worked out great as Dave still had kale, a bit heartier plant than spinach so it survived the temperature drops. We see this as turning a bad thing into something good. The wonders of nature are amazing. If you pause to think about, the crops that are really built for the winter behave a great deal like we do in the cold. When it is cold, we bundle up and wrap ourselves in warmth, right?
- Many of NC’s winter crops are root veggies that grow underground where they are wrapped in blankets of dirt and protected from the cold air above.
- The crops that do grow above ground have other methods to protect themselves. Take cabbage – it has outer leaves that act like a coat that gives them extra protection and make them hearty enough to handle the cold.
Keep in mind that there is a reason only certain crops are available in NC right now. Plants with even slightly thinner leaves can find it more difficult to survive freezing temperatures. This is also why farming anything other than root veggies and hearty greens are a huge risk for a NC farmer.
Our mission and goal at TPB is to help our Farm Partners sell 100% of their crops.
For all of us, this means learning to be flexible and willing to make/accept last minute changes. It means learning to think on a larger scale…thinking beyond our own kitchens…and thinking about keeping our farmers in business so we can circle right back to our own kitchens filled with the wonderful, fresh, local goodness they bring us each week!
Julie Brown, Member Solutions Team