20 Sep UFO… or Lightning Strike?!
A mysterious circle was found in our field of fall kale. There is a perfect circle of about 30 feet diameter where the small plants have died- the stems look black and burnt, the entire plant “cooked”, dry and brittle. After examining the evidence, and doing a bit of internet research, we concluded it came from a lightning strike from last Thursday’s thunderstorm. A loud crash around 7 pm startled us in the house- that must have been it. Crop damage from lightning is definitely a first here at Blooming Glen!
What I learned online was that the most severe damage to plants by lightning may be caused by the extreme heat and shock waves generated by the electrical current, although other damaging effects probably occur. The current produces temperatures greater than 50,000 degrees Farenheit in millionths of a second. The heat turns plant fluids into steam and burns plant cells and tissues, leading to a wilting symptom and blackened, scorched tissues, including roots, stems, branches, and fruits. Yikes! More reason than ever to keep out of the fields when storms are approaching!
The first winter squash was in the share this week- a choice between sweet dumplings and spaghetti squash. Both are a new addition to the farm this season. We’ve been getting lots of positive feedback about another new crop, the dandelion greens. If you’re still not sure what to do with them, check out Mikaela’s latest blog post, 10 Uses for Dandelion Greens.
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Share photo by Meghan Clymer.