available this week
Weather-wise, it’s been a very challenging growing season for farmers. A more balanced mix of weather extremes would have been more helpful to our growing season and allowed farmers to grow produce with less quality issues and supply gaps occurring since everyone is planting and harvesting in these same windows. Bee pollination would also have been more effective in a more moderate climate where they wouldn’t have been stressed so much by the weather. Insect suppression would have been better with more moderate weather as well. Early Friday morning, October 19th , was the coldest day in our area in over seven months, and the first state widespread freeze of the season. There were also a couple of nights right before or soon after that it was near freezing too. It’s been generally cool and wet since then. We also had some frost the other night and are expecting more frost almost every overnight for the next week.
Fall produce items such as herbs and lettuces are finishing up because of frost. Hardier produce items such as escarole & endive, parsley, swiss chard, beets, and spinach are slowing down quite a bit and will be the next produce items finished by several nights of frost this week. Most of the rest of our current items like sweet potatoes, hard squashes, cabbage, hardy greens, cranberries, brassicas, radishes, potatoes, turnips and apples can all tolerate a bit of frost and will be probably remain available through Thanksgiving though several days in a row of freeze is needed to harm most of the rest of those crops. Please try to get out and patronize a roadside stand, community farmers market, or pick your own field or apple orchard to enjoy the rest of what Jersey Fresh we still have available this season.
It’s been a pleasure providing you with information related to Jersey Fresh produce these past seven months. Thanks for your support of the Jersey Fresh program and the New Jersey produce industry. We look forward to getting back to you in mid-April.