January 18, 19 & 20
This week, we warmly welcome the return of seventy-degree days after last week’s bone-chilling freeze. Our farmers will be looking over all the damage that was done; many of our farmers were affected by those bitter cold couple of days. Citrus and winter green crops were particularly at risk, and while many oranges remained on the trees, once the freezing temperatures hit the fruit the juice inside can expand and burst—an effect many of us can relate to after the scores of frozen pipes. What you will see offered at the market, then, is the produce that the farmers were able to pick before the cold settled in.
Farming is a challenging lifestyle, and this last week was a definite example of what inclement weather patterns can do to a crop. In Tucson, we are lucky to experience relatively mild winters and many crops can withstand the season. With exception to those of us who battled frozen water pipes, the dramatic drop in temperatures over the past week may seem little more than an annoyance, but for farmers who have invested time, money and sweat equity into the production of something extraordinary, it is quite disheartening. Yet, time heals and the work continues, and farmers (eternal optimists!) look to the fields that made it through the storm. With dedication and passion, our farmers clean up, re-plant and determine what they will be able to bring to the market for the following weekend.
As many of you know we were planning our Annual Citrus Festival this weekend, however, with the overnight temperatures in the teens, the fruit trees took quite a beating. We will have some citrus available but not the abundance that was expected. Many of the growers choose to pick as much fruit as they could to help save the crop. Please join us anyway, because much of the citrus will be preserved in jams, jellies, breads and soaps! We still want to celebrate all things citrus, the festival may not be as juicy, but still quite fun!