What Are You Planting Right Now? - Modern Farmer

What Are You Planting Right Now?

We asked Modern Farmer readers to show us their crops, and they obliged. Here are the stories of farmers all over the world and what they're planting and harvesting right now, from rural plots to rooftops, and from Ohio to Morocco. Weather conditions and stories are from April 2013. And this is just the first round - stay tuned for part two.

We asked Modern Farmer readers to show us their crops, and they obliged. Here are the stories of farmers all over the world and what they’re planting and harvesting right now, from rural plots to rooftops, and from Ohio to Morocco. Weather conditions and stories are from April 2013. And this is just the first round – stay tuned for part two. Images provided by the farmer or author.


Lansac (France)

WEATHER: Mostly in the low 60s and 40s... WHAT'S GROWING: At the 17-hectare Château Fougas - a biodynamic Bordeaux vineyard - owner Michele Bechet will plant 5,600 new merlot vines, type 101-14, by the end of April, having just pulled up 4,500 old vines. Replanting with a higher vine density will mean more concentrated wines and better aromas, explained Bechet, who replants one hectare every year. Merlot is increasingly treasured, partly for its popularity with consumers, but also for its early ripening properties that enable producers to avoid autumn downpours, like the ones that devastated the later ripening cabernet sauvignon grape in October 2012. - Sophie Kevany


Bellville, Ohio (USA)

WEATHER: Mostly in the low 60s to high 30s, with lows in the 20s and highs in the 80s. WHAT'S GROWING: Joan Richmond of Meadow Rise Farm reports capricious weather in Bellville, OH. When Richmond wrote it was 57 degrees and she was expecting the following day to hit 77, the warmest of the season so far, with temperatures in the mid-50s and low 30s and upper 20s at night. She's transplanting lettuces and brassicas (kale, collards, broccoli, and cabbage) which are quite hardy and take the near-freezing late night temperatures. Richmond plans to have them ready for the farmers' markets later in May. She'll also do a second planting of lettuces, radishes, spicy green brassica mix, and arugula. As long as the soil temperature stays at 40 degrees, she says, the germinate well in the garden. She's also starting tomato and pepper season in her 10'x20' greenhouse.


Tighanimine (Morocco)

WEATHER: Highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s. WHAT'S GROWING: Mohamed Bidouane's carrots are not organic, but what the Moroccans call beldi, a term best translated as from the village. Beldi vegetables are not selected hybrids but rather old, traditional varieties. Bidouane says the demand for beldi vegetables is growing, especially in big cities. - Georges Desrues


Homer, New York (USA)

WEATHER: Mostly in the mid-50s to mid-30s, with highs in the 70s and lows below the 20s. WHAT'S GROWING? The folks at Main Street Farms are growing organic vegetable starts like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in their greenhouse right now, since it's too cold outside for most veggies. Temperatrues are ringing in at 50s during the day and low 40s at night. They are growing some crops out doors right now, including lots of kale, Swiss chard, and pok choi, which can handle the cold spring nights.


Zarcero (Costa Rica)

WEATHER: Mostly in the high 80s and mid-60s. WHAT'S GROWING: Brayner Paniagua, Iliana Montero and Santi Paniagua travel more than three hours from Zarcero to Costa Rica's capital each week to sell their fresh produce. During the transition from summer to winter, they plant lettuce, kale, arugula,cucumbers, cilantro, beets, parsley, leeks, chives, broccoli and spinach, according to Paniagua. In the cool, stable mountain climate of Zarcero, Costa Rica, they're able to grow such products year-round to sell at farmers' market stands. Everything is organic, including the extracts from chilies and garlic they use as fertilizer. - Ashley Harrell


Nashville, Tennessee (USA)

WEATHER: Mostly in the low 70s and high 40, with lows in the mid-30s and highs in the high 80s. WHAT'S GROWING: Photographer Hollis Bennet is busy planting his personal garden bed during a week when average temperatures hovered around 70 degrees during the day and anywhere form 50 to 60 at night. But he expects temperatures to dip and has planted accordingly. He planted his tomatoes and peppers with peat-pots to avoid transplant shock and so would be able to deal with a chilly night or two. Bennet planted cabbage and Brussels sprouts early in the year and they recently began growing n earnest. Yellow and spicy purple carrots have already matured and been eaten. He says they were tasty.


Buckingham County, Virginia (USA)

WEATHER: Mostly in the mid-60s to mid-40s, with highs in the 90s and lows in the 20s. WHAT'S GROWING: Olivia Maynard is part of a family in five in Central Virginia where they recently became the ownders of 15 chickens and started a garden, where they grow many items in container pots. Right now they're growing cantaloupe, watermelon, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and marigolds (for the chicks.) Maynard reports that after a long winter and late, cold spring, it's finally in the 80s.


Huatusco, Veracruz (Mexico)

WEATHER: Mostly in the high and mid 70s, with highs in the 90s and lows in the high 60s. WHAT'S GROWING: At this moment, farmer Alan Wright of El Rancho Las Bellotas de Chicalba, near the town of Huatusco in the Veracruz state of Mexico, is planting black beans. His farm is also adjusting their fruit production in response to climate change. While they haven't eliminated bananas or citrus ”“ which are having a hard time with unexpected frost ”“ they are throwing the net more broadly, planting plums,peaches, blackberries, poma rosa, persimmon and feijoas (all frost tolerant). They've also created a silvicultura system using nitrogen-fixing pioneer species such as huisaches to provide canopy protection for young trees such as macadamia, as well as a crop of malanga (taro root), pictured above. - Ashley Harrell


Chicago, Illinois (USA)

WEATHER: Mostly in the 50s and 30s, with highs in the low 70s and lows in the 20s. WHAT'S GROWING: Jacqui Cheng says that it has been a torturously cold winter in Chicago, with highs in the 40s and lows around frost level, but that it recently hit 66 degrees. Because of that,she says she's only been able to put out my cooler weather stuff so far. She's growing romanesco broccoli, green onions, beets, boo chou, kale, dill, cilantro and lettuce. If the warm weather sticks, she'll move the tomato starts in her living room outside.

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