Now that spring is officially here, and we have returned to daylight savings time, I'm hoping that things can become a little more normal out on the farm as well as the Farmers Market.
The month of March was a chaotic one with all the rain and cold weather. There were a number of days that I couldn't get out into the orchard because of all the mud. And if I can't pick, then there's no point in going to the market. When this sort of thing happens in January or February it's no big deal: it's supposed to happen then. But it's not supposed to happen in March, and that is a problem.
Not only was picking delayed on some crops, but for others there was actual damage to the crop. This last week saw no strawberries at the market since the rains turned them into mush in the fields. The rains also ended the satsuma mandarins for this year. They are a fragile fruit, and the heavy rains bruised the skins, and they the rotted on the trees. On the other hand, the weeds have suddenly sprouted well, like weeds, which is going to make for a lot of work over the next month or so.
All of this has lead to a slowing down of the planting schedule for this year's summertime vegetables. They will arrive at the market, but a bit later than usual. On the other hand, the fact that the rain arrived in March will most likely benefit the setting of fruit on the trees. Unfortunately we will not see the results until next year's crop. Something to look forward to.
And you don't have to wait until next year to see produce at the Nipomo Farmers Market. While the Satsuma mandarins have faded from the scene, they have been replaced with the Clementines. With a tougher skin, they are able to withstand the rain, and will be coming to market throughout the summer. The blood oranges are also a big seller at the market. In fact, Nipomo is the biggest market for them. Both the amounts and size have been growing over the last couple of weeks.
While the strawberries were missing last week, we can expect to see them at the market this week. Once we get some sun to dry things out, they will be up and running again. The cabbage family (cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower) have not been bothered by the rain as they are naturally a winter vegetable. The same goes for the carrots, spinach and salad mix. And the limes and lemons are harvested year round, so no worries there.
So you know where to go for a weekly crop of veggies: the Nipomo Farmers Market. We are open every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and are located in the parking lot at Trilogy Central Coast. See you at the market!