As with every year of farming, the 2022 season has taught us a lot.
Cool and wet weather in the spring delayed us, along with many other farmers who were unable to work the soil for fear of compaction in the wet conditions. In July, conditions changed, and farmers were hit with a couple of months of heat and drought. Thankfully the soil at our Research and Education Seed Farm is heavy with loam and silt. Coupled with our drip irrigation, we could keep up with watering our crops throughout the summer.
Some seed crops withstand rain better than others. Seeds in the Chicory family, like radicchio, frisée, and endive have tightly packed seeds that can handle rain, while lettuce seed does not tolerate being rained on.
As several of our crops were delayed in planting, we were not confident the seeds would have enough time to dry out in the fall. The season, however, stayed relatively dry throughout September, October was unseasonably dry and hot, and we had a great seed harvest.