With the ability to transport food long distances and supermarkets on every corner we can easily become unaware of what food is in season where we live. Think about this: we can purchase any fruit or vegetable we can imagine any time of year from a grocery store. That means most of us are probably eating strawberries in January and pumpkin in June. But let's be honest, those strawberries are not that tasty and there's something about pumpkin that doesn't exactly suit an early summer meal.
Michigan is second only to California for its agricultural diversity. That is incredible! That means that Michigan farms can grow most anything. In order to accomplish the most diversity in crops you will need structures like caterpillar tunnels and hoop houses. Using these structures extends the growing season to more closely mimic the environment of other big agricultural states like California.
We are so fortunate to not only live in an agriculturally diverse state, but to live in an area that is rich with local farms and local food communities. As one might expect, all the diversity of crops will not be available locally all year round. We live in a state that showcases all four season. Those seasonal changes bring new weather patterns and temperature changes that support different crops at different times of the year.
As some of you may have noticed while visiting the online store in the recent weeks, we are mostly offering greens and a small amount of other crops. The reason being, that crops like greens and radishes prefer to grow during seasons with cooler temperatures and shorter days. Not only do these environmental qualities enable the crop to grow well, the occasional cold snap helps the greens and radishes to develop a much deeper flavor.
As the weather warms and the days get longer, more and more crops will be transplanted from our propagation house into the field and into our season extending structures. The diversity of crops grown on the farm will increase and the diversity of crop found in your CSA boxes, as well as what is available on the online store, will also increase. Keep in mind, however, any crop that thrives in cooler weather will not stick around forever.
Soon, the heat loving long sunny day crops will be in abundance. Things like peppers, herbs, summer squash and, of course, tomatoes are just around the corner. It is an important reminder to enjoy what is available now and not take it for granted. It also a great reminder that we are fortunate enough to live in agricultural abundance! Take this opportunity to support your local farmer and get to know what foods are growing in your community throughout the season.