We have been enjoying the warmer-than-normal temps lately. The plants have been soaking up plenty of energy from the sun and are growing well. All the high tunnel sides have been down allowing hot air to escape or the cold-loving crops would get too hot and wilt.
But oy! In case you haven’t noticed, the weather has recently turned colder. The plants love this cooler weather. The high tunnel sides are rolled up in the evening and rolled down again during the day to help regulate the temperatures.
Frosty nights turn starches into sugars making the crops more tasty and nutritious. Did you know your taste buds can tell you which vegetable has more nutrients?
For a fun experiment, buy fresh spinach from a local farm and also some from the store. Take a bite of each and the one that tastes better is most likely healthier. You could do the same thing with carrots, or collards, or any vegetable.
When the temps dip into the low twenties, we give the plants extra protection by covering them with a very large frost blanket over hoops inside the high tunnels. But don’t worry, it still gets cold enough for them to get sweet and tasty!
Unfortunately, we only have two frost blankets between four high tunnels. Half our crops are tucked cozily in their beds while the others are left exposed. We ordered more frost blankets two months ago, but thanks to Covid, they are still on backorder. We hope our unprotected vegetables make it through this next cold spell. That’s the risky part of farming and keeps things interesting because you never know what Mother Nature will send our way!