Fresh & Local:
We all know it’s been cold in the city… with bursting pipes, we dig through closets for heavy outerwear infrequently worn. It’s hard to imagine when we feel cold to our bones, how produce and the animals we rely on for food are reacting. Given that our producers come from so close to us (mostly within 200 miles), all of our food is also being affected somehow. While strawberries are surviving under their protective cover, on days where it doesn’t get above freezing, that cover can’t be peeled back to harvest at all, for risk of damaging the plant. Temperatures of 26-31 degrees F may harm the foliage of the brassicas - kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli - but the plant will survive and continue to produce. Root vegetables like turnips, carrots, and radish are especially cold hearty but when the ground freezes, they cannot be harvested. Chickens will molt, losing their older worn out feathers, to grow a dense new insulating layer. And while they’re at it, the protein that is usually directed to egg laying is temporarily diverted to feather growth, resulting in low to no egg production. When the air gets cold, fish are driven into deeper, warmer waters. Crabs bury themselves, and shrimp move further away from the shoreline, making them more difficult to catch. And cold windy conditions are unpleasant and can be dangerous for the farmers, fishers and ranchers we rely on to provide all this bounty to us. Intemperate conditions may prevent farmers from being able to get out into the field and/or reach market. This cold has not caused our network of producers any catastrophic losses, but you will definitely see the effects of winter for weeks to come.