Row Covers to the Rescue for A Changing Climate

Row Covers to the Rescue for A Changing Climate A changing climate challenges every gardener to rethink the way we grow vegetable gardens.  Everywhere the extremes of the growing season are hotter, colder, wetter, drier, and nature is responding in ways we never anticipated.  Bugs don’t die and their eggs or pupae live into a second year to infest plants.  Abnormal cold late in spring or early in fall shorten the growing seasons so some crops can’t mature fully.  Drought stresses plants so much their normal resistance to heat, pests and disease is diminished.  Only one thing is for sure: unpredictability is the new normal. Organic market gardeners who can’t afford to lose their crops drove development of problem solving fabrics called row-covers.  These materials allow rain and air to pass through, but keep everything else out.  They sit upon hoops over vegetable rows to create temporary Quonset hut-shaped affordable greenhouses that both protect the plants and enhance their yields. The basic row cover set-up is about four feet wide and is of infinite length. It’s composed of support hoops made of wire, PVC plastic or metal grids sold for reinforcing concrete.  Row cover fabric is laid over the tops of the hoops, the long sides anchored to the ground with rocks or earth or a long piece of salvaged lumber.  The ends are gathered like a pony tail, tied closed and secured with a stake.  Inside this Quonset hut the plants are protected from weather and pests and cold.  When they grow older and less vulnerable or too large, row covers may be partly or completely removed to allow pollinators to reach the flowers.  The same or different covers can be replaced at any time of the season depending on the crop’s unique needs, or to solve both expected and unexpected challenges. Row cover fabrics vary in purpose and weight.  The most valuable to home gardeners is the super lightweight “floating” row covers made of spun polypropylene designed to keep seedlings protected from insect pests.  Preventing the start of these problem bugs early in the season using a row cover shelter allows plants to thrive and grow more quickly to a size better able to protect itself naturally. Row cover material increases in weight and density with each increment of frost protection.  Using row covers to plant earlier in spring reduces the amount of time you must tend small seedlings indoors.  The row cover can be removed after temperatures warm, or you can replace it with the light weight floating covers for insect protection.  During the depths of summer a row cover can provide ideal shading in very hot southern regions. Then in the fall as temperatures fall, frost-preventing row covers go back on the garden to keep plants productive long after the rest of the garden is lost.  In mild climate regions row covers can mean fresh produce throughout the winter months. Row covers also help to maintain humidity around plants and to reduce evaporation of moisture from the soil.  This is a big help for areasRead More … Read More “Row Covers to the Rescue for A Changing Climate”

Video: A Solo Trip Down California’s Class V Bald Rock Canyon

Video: A Solo Trip Down California’s Class V Bald Rock Canyon Bald Rock Canyon on California’s Middle Fork of the Feather had always been on Gavin Rieser’s list. In March of 2015 when he couldn’t find anyone to paddle it with him, he embarked on a solo mission that turned out to be life changing. We sat down with Gavin to talk about it. C&K:Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where and how did you get into kayaking, and how long have you been paddling? Gavin Rieser: When people ask me how long I’ve been paddling, I usually tell them, “I took my first whitewater trip at the age of two.” Both of my parents worked as whitewater guides for ARTA in the 1970s. They started RCWC (River City Whitewater Club) as a nonprofit whitewater club in the 80s. When my mom got pregnant with me, she continued boating for a while and my dad semi-joked about suspending a cradle inside a generator box to bring me along on his Class IV adventures. Naturally, they introduced me to rivers at an early age. Eventually, my folks settled in Sacramento, where they raised me and my younger sister. I think my first time in a kayak was sitting on my dad’s spray
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Bitter Waters

Bitter Waters $2.99Bitter Waters Chaz BrenchleyKirkus Best Books of 2015
Lambda Award Winner
The average adult male is approximately 60% water. Blood tastes salty as more than two thirds of the sodium circulating throughout your body is carried in arteries and veins.… More Read More “Bitter Waters”

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner When you have a holiday dinner, what is traditional at your table? For my family, it’s pretty similar to the food at Thanksgiving, except we have a ham and sometimes a turkey (with some delicious stuffing) since I have a sister who refuses to eat ham (thank the teacher in high school who scared her […] Read More “Christmas Dinner”

Cheetah sighting in “W” National Park (Niger): A hopeful sign!

Cheetah sighting in “W” National Park (Niger): A hopeful sign! Samaila Sahailou, technical assistant of Arly and Pendjari National Park, reported that on31 December 2012a male cheetah was seen walking around camp Tapoa. The sighting was fortunately captured on photo camera by Mr Frédéric Modi, director of hotel Tapoa. (see photos below). This sighting is another indicator that “W” National park(Niger) still holds a small […] Read More “Cheetah sighting in “W” National Park (Niger): A hopeful sign!”

December Already?!

December Already?!   Hi Lovely Readers, Thank you for your patience as we work toward the new AsianCajuns. Cath and I have been so excited coming up with our new idea(s) and posts that are in the works. Right now we’re just tinkering away on getting some schnazzier stuff happening in the background. In addition to AsianCajun-ing, […] Read More “December Already?!”