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Frost in the Garden

Frost in the Garden

Plants That Love It, Protecting Plants That Don’t

It seems many a gardener spends the winter locked up inside, hiding from the chilly weather, darning socks in front of the cookstove, the gardens tucked in with mulch and awaiting the spring. But, that’s no way to be when there is a large collection of plants that adore a little frost tickling their leaves.  Many plants willing to brave freezing temperatures if given the right encouragement.

In short, a good lot of us could be growing a good lot of fresh food year-round, no greenhouse necessary.

Just for fun, and because our fall garden is kicking out the good stuff so far this year, and because a few holdovers from the summer are still producing in mid-November, it felt like an appropriate time to revisit some of those plants that not only endure cold weather but improve with it.

Equally so, it’s worth remembering that, with a few tricks here and there, we can coax some of those summer gems to extend their output for a month or more.

Plants That Improve With Frost

Around these parts (North Carolina), it is well known and widely accepted that collard greens are notably and inarguably better after a frost. Though a bit more tolerant of heat than, say, kale (they will grow in the summertime), collards are planted in late summer all the same, and gardeners in the know wait to harvest any until after a good frost slaps the bitter taste away.

Last year, a mild winter, Emma and I played pick-and-eat with collards over the entire season. We let them go to seed in spring and replant themselves…

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Frost-Apocalypse Set To Sweep Across US, Could Mark End Of Growing Season

Frost-Apocalypse Set To Sweep Across US, Could Mark End Of Growing Season

We are tracking frost and freeze potential US temperature weather maps this weekend that indicate a strong possibility frost-apocalypse is headed for the Pacific, Rocky Mountains, and Midwest regions over the next ten days. This could mean the end of the growing season for many agriculture producing states.

As shown in the EC Operational maps below, a 32°F contour line in the 5-10 day forecast indicates US frost risks could shift from the Northwest too much of the North Central states, which would officially mark the end of the growing season in those areas if confirmed by mid-month.

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Andrei Evbuoma, a meteorologist for NOAA National Weather Service, provides further insight into the frost situation in the US, and what he thinks this could mean for grain prices. 

Frost and freeze watches/warnings hoisted for portions of the north-central and Northeast U.S.; weather outlook turns colder across the northern and central U.S. raising risks for frost/freeze and thus upside potential of prices.

On the weather front, frost and freeze watches/warnings are in effect for much of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, northeastern Nebraska, western Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, a large portion of Upstate New York and Vermont, extreme western Massachusetts, and extreme northern Pennsylvania. The frost and freeze warnings are in effect tonight through Friday morning. The freeze watch is in effect for late Friday night through early Saturday morning. The freeze and frost warnings over North Dakota and Minnesota cover a good portion of spring wheat. However, with much of the crop harvested, the impacts should be minimum. The northwestern portions of the corn and soybean belt will be impacted by the frost and freeze Thursday night/Friday morning.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Worldwide Wine Output Collapses To 60-Year Low, Sparks Fears Of Major Shortage

The Director-General of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), Jean-Marie Aurand, presented breathtaking information on the collapse of global wine production, assessment of the worldwide harvest, and the state of the overall wine industry at the organization’s headquarters in Paris on Wednesday.

During the presentation, Aurand warned that global wine production collapsed in 2017, with a contraction of 8.6 percent compared with 2016 figures. In fact, global wine output dropped to its lowest levels since 1957, primarily due to poor weather conditions in the Eurozone which slashed production across the entire bloc.

For instance, French winemakers were hit with the worst frost in 25-years, during the 2017 growing season. Vinters reported “widespread damage in Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, with some losing their entire 2017 crop,” said Wine Spectator.

“We can already estimate that we have lost nearly half of the potential crop,” said Xavier Coumau, president of Bordeaux’s Syndicate of Wine and Spirits Courtiers.

Vineyards in Champagne have been hit hard by frost in 2017. (Source: John Hodder – Collection CIVC)

The OIV released a press release detailing the global state of conditions report: developments and trends. The report notes the “historically low production, buoyant consumption and continuing internationalization of trade.” Wine production totaled 250 million hectoliters in 2017, down 8.6 percent from 2016. All major European wine producers saw tremendous crop losses due to poor weather conditions, which contributed to the collapse of -14.6% of wine production compared with 2016.

Here is the summary of the report: 

  • With 7.6 mha in 2017, the size of the global area under vines appears to have stabilized.
  • Wine production was at 250 mhl in 2017. This was a historically low production year, with a decline of 8.6% compared with the previous year, explained in particular by unfavorable climate conditions within the EU (-14.6% compared with 2016).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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