February Update

By Market Manager Carla Jenkins

You never know what our Central Texas weather will bring and how it will affect our farmers with their growing and harvesting.

strawberry

  This year has been strange because of the amount of precipitation and increased number of cold periods that are likely to continue through February. Some plants need the cold nights and some need the warmth of the day and cold nights. Others require the opposite!  It’s all pretty tricky. (I often say farmers are bigger gamblers than those in Las Vegas.)

Here’s what I know now about what’s in our February/early March future:

  • Strawberries should be abundant. There are varieties coming to the markets now which are grown under high tunnels protecting them from the elements. Others will follow after a few weeks of warm temps.
  • artichoke bloomArtichokes will be ready in a matter of weeks.  We have several farmers who have worked on these alien looking plants and they will be plentiful at the Cedar Park market. After harvest, the blooms are outstanding!
  • Asparagus is right around the corner…we just need a week or so of continuous sunshine and warmer temperatures for it to be ready for market. We have a couple of growers who are known for their chemical free asparagus fields who will be attending our markets.

In other news, Central Texas peaches are still looking good. Peaches need this cold as part of the process of developing fruit. The freezes only negatively affect them once they bloom. Light frosts can help the fruit by acting as a natural thinning which makes the fruit left on the tree larger.

peaches

There are many (50+) species of peaches growing in Central Texas.  Depending on when and if more freezes happen will make or break the crop of each variety.  These species/varieties blossom at different times beginning at the first of March, so, keep your fingers crossed for our Central Texas sweets and look for the first varieties at market in early May.  We typically have peaches through the summer.

Continue to find these vendors (Lakeline Mall & Mueller) and many more great things at your markets throughout February!  Thanks to each of you who shop at our Texas Farmers’ Markets at Cedar Park and Mueller. We appreciate the support you bring to our local food producers.

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