We stopped by the Derby Street Farmers’ Market in Berkeley yesterday to talk with some of our farmers about how they’ve been dealing with the recent mercury plunge. Both Riverdog Farm and Full Belly Farm in Guinda lost electricity, and had problems with irrigation lines freezing. There was a mad dash before the cold set in to harvest as much broccoli, cauliflower, and celery root as possible. Many recent transplants, too fragile to hold their own, didn’t make it through the freeze.
The general consensus, was that it is too soon to tell what was effected & how many crops were actually lost. Both Didar Singh Khalsa and Catalan Farm said they wouldn’t know for two to three weeks the extent of the damage. And yet, all of the farmers we spoke with retained an upbeat outlook & cheery countenance as is required in a livelihood as unpredictable as farming. Many were thankful for the diversity & resilience of their farms and worried about smaller neighboring operations that depended solely on one crop, where serious damage could completely wipe out their income for the season.