March Newsletter - An Early Spring and the Future of the Seed Share Program

An Early Spring

Spring has come almost a month early and the Chickasaw plums are putting on a magnificent show this year in North Florida. In the daytime, the flowers are full of bumblebees, carpenter bees, all kinds of native bees, and honeybees. At night, they perfume the air with a sweet fragrance. Despite the joys of this early spring, inconsistent weather patterns make resilient and adaptive crops necessary for reliable food production. Even with consistent warm days here, 75+ degrees, there is still the possibility for a freeze or frost which could kill off much of the tender growth. Typically my last frost date is mid-March. Any summer annuals coming up are highly vulnerable in such conditions, unless they are adapted to withstand large temperature swings and frost. I found this to be the case last year when I planted out a dehybridizing paste tomato. I had already put the six inch starts in the ground when a hard freeze hit and killed the tops off all except two plants. These two appeared completely unbothered. I could see nothing that would have prevented them from being burned when all their siblings’ tops were dead. Frost-hardy paste tomatoes? I thought so, except those two plants were, unfortunately, highly susceptible to blight and nearly died while all the others sprouted back and had very little blight. 

Seed Share Program Survey

Speaking of a possible specialized frost-hardy paste tomato grex, we are thinking about the future of the Seed Share Program and would like your input. We are considering what kind of mixes people want, what is most important to the community, and how we can further diversify and specialize mixes to empower growers with the most resilient, crop diverse seeds for a secure food system. This is an opportunity for you to tell us what you like most about the program and what you want to see in the future. Let us know in the survey here.

Crop Wiki Pages

Want to share your knowledge on growing a cultivated crop using adaptation agriculture methods? The Crop Wiki project is a great way to share your experience and assist people who are new to these methods. We are still looking for people to help compile this information, so check out the links on this page here.

Have you planted your peppers and tomatoes yet? If you haven’t gotten seeds, it’s not too late! Joseph’s Promiscuous lines come up quick! Seeds here

Lowell + GTS