Agriculture

What Season is This, Anyway?

Spring, of course! Take a look.

Mid-November, and Spring Has Sprung in the North Okanagan

A day before, these new weeds were sitting under three inches of snow. The snow will be back, you can be sure. In fact, as I type this, it’s flying around again in the air.

Here’s a closer look:

Weeds Taking Advantage of the Wet Season

And healing a road cut while they’re at it. Talk about public service gals! Sorry about the fuzziness. The photographer was being hauled around by Mr. Winston, the Blog’s Deer, and, I tell you, the deer weren’t far.

With 30 centimeters of precipitation a year, and most of that in snow, and most of it (frozen and liquid) evaporating into the dry air, it makes sense to do your growing now when the air is damp and then to steal the last drops of the snow when it melts in the spring. Leave the summer to the cactus. That’s what the moss and cheatgrass are doing here:

Growing While the Living is Easy

And of course, although the rockland community in the grasslands is pretty OK with leaving the summer to the prickly pears, it’s not as if this isn’t their season for plumping up, too. There’s enough to go around:

Prickly Pear Cactus

These ladies are the camels of the Okanagan.

Now, the thing is, if this is spring, but our agriculture is based upon a spring in March and April, why do we do that? And what are we missing?

Tomorrow: The answer, and why that matters economically. A lot.

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