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Praise the Plunge
Deep Freeze on Gwenyn Hill Farm in Wisconsin

Praise the Plunge

Deep Freeze on Gwenyn Hill Farm in Wisconsin

By Linda Halley | When the mercury plunges to subzero our first reaction may be to bundle up, hunker down and pray for a swift end to intolerable temperatures. The last week of 2017 and the first week of 2018 tried our patience with temps rarely climbing to the teens and dipping to double digits below zero overnight. Outdoor chores were miserable. Cars complained almost as much as their shivering drivers. Day after day dawn brought a promising sun, but its feeble warmth was whipped away by the wind.

The cold snap broke last week, so you might be in a mood to hear my secret; I was rooting for the cold. A deep frost and below zero Fahrenheit are a farmer’s ally against insects and disease. A mild winter portends a spring filled with survivors, disease-causing organisms and bugs ready to dine early and dine often on our tender plants.

Organic farmers employ a whole array of practices to grow vigorous, high-yielding crops but winter weather is out of our control. So, I, for one, am happy to take Mother Nature’s deep-freeze gift. I praise the plunge!

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