The Beginning of the End

frosty cabbagePatchy frost yesterday morning, and a widespread frost this one. No worries. I was mostly prepared. By Wednesday, I had either covered or harvested the important frost-sensitive crops, and most everything else can handle the cold. But it’s sad to see the flowers go. I would have liked them for tomorrow’s market, and they really can’t be harvested too far in advance. And I did overlook a couple of hoses out in the field. I’ll see later today after things warm up if they froze and split.

I have to tell you, so long as it doesn’t catch me by surprise, that first fall frost is really a relief. According to the climate data from the National Weather Service, a week ago we had a 50 percent chance of frost, and by next week a 90 percent chance. So this one arrived right on schedule. The old-timers will tell you a full moon predicts a frost, but people have run the numbers and can’t find a correlation. Probably the cold, clear air just makes the full moon appear bolder, and people take greater note of it. I sure did checking my row covers the night before: that big, bright orb cresting the trees along the east side of the barn, casting silver-gray light across the fields and saying, Time to wrap this up, friend.

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