Tuesday, March 7, 2017

This year's rain delays Spring planting, Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay Review/Kaitlyn Bartley, 3/1/17. "Farmers wait to dry out before planting."
Image result for Half Moon Bay flooded crop fields
Delayed harvesting of Brussel sprouts
Image result for Half Moon Bay flooded crop fields
Normal for growing crops: irrigation
"Recent storms are proving to be a short-term bother and long-term boon for local farmers. Flooded fields have delayed spring planting, but the extra water is replenishing reservoirs and underground aquifers that have been parched by the state’s years-long drought.

After the latest round of storms during the Presidents Day Weekend, farmers throughout the state were left with waterlogged fields, washed-out roads, and mudslides in some places. Crops that were planted in the autumn could potentially take on too much water, reducing harvest yields. And spring planting is on hold until fields dry out.
....  And although this year’s rainfall is the heaviest in recent memory, John Giusti (local farmer) says a longer look back in time shows that this is probably closer to a normal year in terms of rainfall.  'After about five or six years of drought, you forget what normal looks like,' he said. 'Probably about 12 years ago it was raining in March and April, and it did not want to stop. There were 30 straight days of rain, and that was a lot harder than this is,' he said. 'My thoughts have always been, if it rains in January and February, those are good months for it to rain.'   Read more.

Related article.  The Mercury News/Aaron Kinney, 11/4/16, "Brussels sprouts' renaissance alive in Bay Area." .... "Half Moon Bay farmers John Giusti and David Lea once sold about 80 percent of their sprouts to the frozen market. But in the past decade the ratio has flipped, and they now sell that much or more of their crop fresh. Most of the sprouts are packed in Salinas and trucked east. The rest make their way to Bay Area grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants. .... The cool, foggy coast south of San Francisco provides ideal growing conditions. More than 90 percent of Brussels sprouts grown in the United States come from California, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and most of the Golden State’s sprouts are harvested in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Half Moon Bay farmer Mike Iacopi, who sells Giuti and Lea’s sprouts at local farmers markets, said the salt air gives the vegetables character."

Note photograph.  Flooded farm field from Bigstock photo, Living on Earth, 4/24/15,"To survive a drought..."  Harvesting brussel sprouts, Giusti's farm by John Green/Staff from the related Mercury News article above.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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