SNOW: THE POOR FARMER’S FERTILIZER?
If you’re an old Yankee, you’ve certainly heard the phrase that snow is a poor man’s fertilizer. And if you’re not an old Yankee, now you have heard it! (For this, and other fun phrases, check out www.farmersalmanac.com.) But why is frozen water from the sky good for farmers? Keep reading!
The atmosphere is filled with all sorts of elements. Many of those elements are nitrates, and those eventually become nitrogen, which is extremely important the development of plants. And now you ask, “why is that, wise writer of Charmingfare blogs?”
Let’s go back to science class for just a moment. Remember photosynthesis? That’s where the plant uses the sun’s energy to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide. Well, to make that happen, the plant is going to need lots of chlorophyll. And nitrogen just happens to be a major component necessary to produce chlorophyll!
So back to fertilizer from snow! You hear about the big storm coming, so you rush off to the supermarket, fighting the crowds and general insanity and stock up on milk and bread. And then you’re off to hunker down through that next storm! Meanwhile, as the storm grows and starts dumping all the white stuff, the magic of science is happening! The snowflakes form in the air and absorb the nitrates from the atmosphere. Down comes the snow and those nitrates settle on the fields. While you’re now enjoying a sleigh ride through the woods, the snow eventually melts and leeches into the ground at a slow, even rate. It becomes nitrogen, the farmer comes along when its warm enough for planting…. He sows the seeds and next thing you know, plants are growing and photosynthesis is happening! Voila! Fertilizer from the sky for the poor man (or farmer)!
Of course, at Charmingfare Farm, our Community Supported Agriculture program uses other forms of fertilizer as well to assure a solid, healthy crop. We always try and use natural resources, and avoid chemicals. But we’ll be sure and tell you more about that as the spring approaches. For more information about gardening, check out www.gardenrant.com.
We are in the process of getting folks signed up for the 2017 CSA – Vegetable Share program. The promotional code: csa17100 will save you $100 if you book within the next few days.
Any questions please call Charmingfare Farm’s office at 603 483-5623. The business office is open Tuesday – Fridays 10am to 4pm.