Farm Fact Friday: Cold Weather

Happy Farm Fact Friday . . . Early! In some places, winter can make farming quite difficult, but in the warmer climate in Texas, it makes a perfect recipe to grow things like lettuce, bok choi, broccoli, squash, and kale on the farm! Did you know weather can affect how your food tastes? For instance, colder temperatures make kale sweeter (though you can also massage it to make it taste better). Certain below-the-ground crops, like carrots and radishes, also do well with the chilly season.

When preparing for winter on the farm, aside from ensuring the crops we plant are well suited for the colder weather, there is only so much we can do. Our farm team has made sure to prevent any water leakage from our water sources and protect them from potential freezing, and cover our more cold-sensitive crops with row cover (thin blanket-like material that lets plants breath and get sunlight, but keeps frost off and provides some heat to the ground and crops). If you’re finding yourself fighting with the colder temperatures at home with your own garden, row cover can be bought inexpensively, and fallen leaves can protect and warm your plants.

Though it’s something folks may not consider in their day-to-day life, weather can greatly impact farming and food production. While kale may get more delicious with the cold, weather events like Winter Storm Uri or unusual heat waves can greatly affect crop yield. That’s why preparation and experimentation are important (hence our farm team growing 56 varieties of 27 crops this season) to learn what best suits the land we farm. This will ensure diversity in the face of pests to different types of weather conditions, and that we learn how to work our land both effectively, and mindfully.

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