Farmer Stephanie Spock writes…
As farmers, John and I consider ourselves lucky. We farm in a spot that is protected on all sides by trees. We have a half-acre pond to irrigate from, which means we have water even in the middle of a drought. Our soil is pretty permeable so water drains easier. We don’t have a fear of fires raging around us.
Almost every diversified vegetable farmer we know is investing in more tunnels to grow in as record floods get worse year after year. This July was the hottest July in NJ ever recorded and being able to shade crops is becoming even more important. We lug around hundreds of pounds of shade cloth each week to protect our tender greens when we first plant them. Ten years ago, I was not having to do this. The crops just can’t handle the intense heat we’re seeing more and more of.
This year was also the latest Spring frost we’ve ever seen and the earliest Fall frost we’ve ever seen. A common misconception with climate change is that it just means hotter days. As someone who studied climate change for years in college, I learned it means exactly what we’re seeing; more droughts, intense temperature swings, high winds, hail, hurricanes, floods, fires, and more. There have been more hurricanes than ever seen before. So many that they ran out of names this year and had to start back at the beginning.