Those members who live close to the farm (in Vacaville, Davis and Sacramento) have likely had enough of the winter fog. It is normal for us to have many foggy days in January. Sometimes the fog burns off by lunchtime, and sometimes we may not see sunshine all of January. The farm is at 82 feet of altitude, and, while we’re buried in fog our friends who farm in the Capay Valley (altitude of 300 feet), typically enjoy nice, sunny weather. Their sandy soils dry out with no rain (plus the heat from sunshine), and they can plant in January. We have loam soils, which take longer to dry out. With no sunshine to help us, this can get a little bit frustrating. Luckily we have learned over the years to focus much planting in November and December so the pressure to plant in January is greatly reduced.
Compared to the Capay Valley, our climate is warmer in the winter and cooler in the .summer. Summer days of 117 F are unheard of here, as are the 12 F nights, which they experienced in December ‘09. At that temperature, many tender vegetable crops are killed.
So I think we are actually sitting pretty in our warm winter, cool summer, foggy 82 feet with loamy soils that hold nutrients and grow some amazing, tasting vegetables and fruit. Jose has told me that when he visits other farms he is absolutely sure that our soils produce the tastiest produce.
At the foot of the Capay Valley lies another CSA farm. They have clay soils and some of the same fog we experience. This means that it is difficult for them to grow winter crops. The spinach, lettuce and other veggies in your box today don’t grow easily in the Capay soils, so they often have to buy those crops from other farms during the winter and early spring.
Our soil and climate is a great blessing… Nigel.