Now, that’s not to say it’s not cold. Sarahlee has been up at 3 am multiple nights this past week checking the temps. We have some things in the field that are still too sensitive to handle even a light frost. What we do to protect them is turn the irrigation water on. The water in the line is buried and stays slightly above freezing at its coldest. On nights when it’s going to get down below freezing, Sarahlee is out there turning on the irrigation at 2 or 3 am to buy us the frost protection we need in those few hours before sunrise. She is doing what it takes to make it happen, like she always does. It’s inspiring.
If there is anything I’ve learned though from my short time at Rainshadow, it is that two of the most important ingredients in the recipe of farming are planning and timing. You plan to plant your big daddy winter squash on a certain day at the end of June. A while later they come up gangbusters and you are stoked.
Then the days that seemed to be warming up turn cold! What do you do? What you can I guess: wake up at 3:30, check the temp, and go turn on the water by 4 am (the coldest hour before dawn) and protect a very valuable long term crop.
Last year this time it was already hot as the dickens. This year it’s freezing right into summer. How do you plan for something like that? I guess you can’t. The combination of Central Oregon being a temperamental sort and the unpredictability of global climate change makes what has always been quite difficult, a constant challenge.