Let’s Talk About Frost!

Happy Fall! I hope everyone has been able to enjoy this amazing weather we've been having. If you're looking for ideas, many pumpkin patches are now open! Thames River Melons has theirs all ready for you, with trail walks, hot apple cider, popcorn, and pumpkins of course. Despite the great weather expected for this weekend, last weekend we had our first frost! This was very early for our region - read below for what that means!

First Frost

Frost: we all know what this means – a light freeze where the temperature goes below freezing point and tiny white ice crystals form on the ground or other surfaces. The “First Frost” of this year came in the wee morning hours of last Saturday, September 19, and I’m betting that not many of us even knew or thought it was important!

First Frost refers to the first time a frost happens in the Fall. “Last Frost” refers to the last time frost happens in the Spring. These are significant events for the farming community. Farmers base their growing seasons around estimated First and Last Frost dates as even a light freeze can damage or destroy the more delicate plants like tomatoes, peppers, berries, certain flowers, and the like.

Frost happens at a different time in different regions. For example, in Thunder Bay, First Frost is expected as early as the second week of September, while in Toronto or St. Catherine’s, First Frost is expected about the first week of November. In our own region of London, we usually expect First Frost in the first or second week of October, and it’s even come as late as the third or fourth week – all depending on the area and the year. A First Frost as early as middle of September is unexpected, and could mean that many fragile plants are still in the fields outdoors and susceptible to damage!

What did an unexpected First Frost mean for our Farmers? Well, it meant that their Fridays were most likely spent in a desperate attempt to protect as much of their outdoor fragile plants as possible. A couple different methods are by covering the more fragile plants or spraying the plants with water to provide a layer of protection – this can mean being up all night irrigating.

But sometimes, despite best efforts, plants are still destroyed. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to cover all the plants, or a generator breaks and an automated irrigation system stops, and sometimes, like what was the case last weekend, there is no wind, breeze or clouds to stop the frost from hitting the plants.

Unfortunately, a few of our farmers were hit pretty badly. This may result in less crops to be harvested which not only means less food for us to eat or flowers to enjoy, but also less income for the farmers who were relying on those plants surviving! Ask your farmers this Saturday: how did their crops do and how were they affected by the frost? Will their time at the market look any different moving forward?

Funny Veg!

Every fall, we have an annual “Funny Vegetable” display where our growers bring the odd, cute, weirdly shaped, funky produce from their fields and gardens to the market for us to admire! Not all produce comes out of the ground, or off the plant or vine in the same form, but it’s equally as valuable! Don’t miss it!

Our Market Season!

We’ll be sure to remind you of this in a few weeks as well, but as other markets begin to announce their closing dates, we want you to remember that we are a year-round market! Our Outdoor Farmers’ Market will continue until the last Saturday before Christmas! So don’t fret – there are still many weeks to access and enjoy your fresh, local bounty! We can’t wait!

Wellness Wednesdays

Join Downtown London for “Wellness Wednesdays” as various health and fitness-oriented businesses around Downtown London guide you through FREE one-hour fitness classes to help you get back outside, destress, and take a much needed mid-week break.

Wednesday, September 30, October 7, and October 14, join them on the Rotary Square at Covent Garden Market from 9:30 to 10:30.

Sign-ups are limited so that we can ensure physical distancing and continue to keep everyone involved safe! Grab your friends, family, or come by yourself – we can’t wait to see you back in our Downtown!

Everyone who attends will be entered to win Downtown Dollars!

Who Can You Find at the Market this Saturday!

This is the list, folks! See who you can find at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday, September 26th, our last market of this month! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season/currently available!

Live Music (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.): Chris Casserly