Not sure there’s any other way to say it. Would I love it if this warm weather continued and we got a huge head start on the hops growing season? Yes!
Would I like to see Winter…the season we’re actually supposed to still be enjoying…come back around, put the crops, the buds, the animals and insects back on hiatus the way it should be until mid-April? An even more resounding “YES!”
I’ll admit it, I love this break in the weather…t-shirts, shorts, Chacos months ahead of schedule. Trail running in 70 degree weather…well had I not broken a rib a week ago today but that’s for a different post…cycling on the backroads of Centre and Elk counties, sweat pouring off you on a stellar day hike. But this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. My fear and that of every other Farmer, is that crops and buds will start emerging way ahead of schedule and we’ll get that one last shot of Winter and it’ll harm or even destroy crops for this upcoming season.
There are many reasons I returned back East to the mid-Atlantic and that’s because I love four distinct seasons. And none of those four seasons are more brutal than another. We get snow and cold, but not like the devastatingly bitter Winter’s of the Northern plain states. Our Springs and Summer are mild, with a few extraordinarily warm days thrown in for sure, but we’re not locking ourselves inside our air-conditioned homes and cars like Arizona, Florida or Texas. And our Autumns…well those are insanely beautiful and I wouldn’t exchange them for anything else in the world.
So while I paused today and smiled under the glowing sun, in the back of my mind I was kneeling in our fields talking to the hops and begging them not to be fooled and to go back to bed for another month or so 😉