Finally! We just learned recently that the Grant County Farmers Market will take place this year in its traditional location at the Petersburg City Park parking lot. Of course, we’ll be attending. In fact, we will be located in the Farmer’s Market shed in the southwest corner of the parking lot. We decided to use the building because our canopy tent is worn out from age, and we needed a better enclosure to protect Barb’s goat milk soap from the sun and heat. Our canopy never provided enough shading.
We have been a little late in planting our vegetable garden this year for two reasons. First, we didn’t know how much we would need to plant because we weren’t sure that the Farmers Market would be conducted. Planting the entire garden would have left us with too much food for our own summer eating and winter canning needs, and I never like to see good food go to waste. The second reason is that the weather has been very cold in April and May—well below the thirty-year average, in fact. I have kept weather records for all of the 12 years we have lived in West Virginia—eight years in New Creek and 4 years at Peeper Pond Farm. Never in that time have we seen any snow falling in May. However, we saw several light flurries and one good snow squall in our region on Saturday, May 9. The high temperature for the day was only 45 degrees, about 21 degrees below the average high for the day. We have also several hard freezes in the past few weeks. The morning low at our house on May 10 was 26 degrees. While it is not unusual to see the final frost of the season occur sometime during the first half of May, this temperature was nearly a record low.
Now that the long-range forecast is suggesting that the relatively stationary polar vortex responsible for this inclement weather will be shifting, we are working quickly to plant the rest of our garden. We spent a good part of the day yesterday rototilling the garden and staking out the planting rows. Within the next day or so, weather permitting, we will plant our early corn, carrots, peppers, potatoes, squash, and the remainder of our sweet onions (if we can find them). Our late corn, tomatoes, and beans will have to wait for the warmer weather that is sure to follow. While the cold weather did not delay the planting of our peas, onions, broccoli, and cabbage, they have not matured as well as we would expect for this time of the year.
At least we are pleased to preparing for our Farmers Market appearance in 2020. We always enjoy meeting our friends and regular customers during our weekly Saturday morning appearances. It’s about the only sense of normality we have had in the past few months, due to the all the Coronavirus hysteria. Some summer sun, fresh air, and good company has never felt so enticing. We hope to see all of you there during the months of June, July, and August.