Tonight as we were in the garage preparing our harvest for this week’s market. The temperature began to drop rather sharply. For us, this invokes a sense of fear common to this time of year. We still have so many crops outside, and not all of them frost hardy. Cashing in on those crops (or not) is a bit of a gamble. When we see the risk of frost, we have some key decisions to make: do we cover them with floating row cover? Do we harvest them and store them? Do we wait and see? How much can we get done in the dark?
Tonight Yoshiko and I harvested chinese cabbage and cauliflower, which now sit in wheelbarrows in the garage, where the cold shouldn’t affect them as much. If there is no frost, we will have lost the chance to spread the cauliflower harvest over a slightly longer period of time. If there is frost, we’ll be glad to have saved what we could.
A factor in these decisions is energy. At this time of year, it’s easy to feel tired or even burnt out. Nevertheless, for us year-round farming means putting in huge bursts of energy to save crops at short notice when frost threatens. On one hand, pushing ourselves too far beyond our limits isn’t really profitable in the long run. On the other hand, underestimating our capacity to keep working also means a loss of profit.
In other news, I got my soil test results back today! Very exciting. I can’t wait to start working through the numbers based on a soil analysis book I read earlier this year. More on that one later.