Race to Reproduce (and Harvest)

Race to Reproduce (and Harvest)

Spring is a wonderful time to grow food in the Illawarra with many crops practically leaping out of the ground. But with the longer days and warmer temperatures, a new challenge emerges for us.

The crops we grow, like all living things, are driven to do one thing above all others – reproduce. When the conditions are right, they can be triggered to ‘bolt’ and ‘go to seed’, putting most of their energy into producing flowers before growing as big and vibrant as they normally would. Crops planted 1-2 months before the spring equinox are particularly susceptible to this.

We carefully plan our planting calendar to try to maintain a consistent variety of produce for veg boxes. But when nature decides to move on a different timeline, we must observe and react and be ready to harvest when required. This can present challenges for us since we typically only harvest on Mondays and Tuesdays.

You may see signs of this rush to seed in your veg boxes right now, in the buds or small flowers on your rocket, bok choy, or broccolini. The good news is that many flowers of food crops, particularly when young, are edible and delicious! So, if you see these tiny treasures in your box, let them remind you of their (and your!) connection to nature.


Lindsay Burlton
Fair Food Coordinator

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