By Market Manager Carla Jenkins
As I said last month, you never know what our Central Texas weather will bring. Yet another front with a freeze and very strong winds put anend to the plants that had the “go ahead and grow message” from those warm, sun shining days last week.
Strawberries were popping up at markets, but the extended freezes will slow them down, even those under the high tunnels. We look forward to the end to the freezes when they will be abundant.
Asparagus made it to our Mueller market last weekend from farmer Willie McKemie of Dale, Texas. He will not be able to return with more until we have some consistently warm days. I expect Gary of Hairston Creek Farm in Burnet, Texas, to be at the markets with his certified organic asparagus sometime this month as well.
Engel Farms has been working with high tunnels, experimenting with different species of tomatoes and working on varieties that taste like our summer field tomatoes but made available in late winter and very early spring. Their tomatoes have been coming to Cedar Park but I think the freeze and winds hit those tomatoes pretty hard. Don’t forget Jackie with Flintrock Hill Farm brings her greenhouse tomatoes through the winter.
Artichokes had fruit on them but the freeze got most of them. They will bud again and it will take another month or so for us to have them at market. Artichokes are one of my personal favorites so I will be on the lookout and keep you posted.
Central Texas peaches; we don’t yet know how the blossoms fared. The trees that had blooms could have just been “thinned” by the freeze but if any had buds that froze, that won’t be good for this year’s crop. The 50 or so varieties of Central Texas peaches blossom at different times beginning now, so, keep your fingers crossed for our peaches and look for the first varieties at market in early May through August.
There will be more experimenting (and replanting) the story of the Central Texas Farmer!
Continue to find these vendors (Lakeline Mall & Mueller) and many more great things at your markets throughout March! Please come to the markets to support your farmers and ranchers as they have no control over the elements and work so hard to keep you and your families fed fresh, seasonal, vegetables and fruit. We appreciate you!