Now in her seventh year of farming, Christensen has a sense that the spring and summer harvests are likely to be delayed. "Last spring was drier and warmer," she says. "Everything is going to be a few weeks later, but the markets will still have produce, particularly leafy greens coming out of high tunnels."
The forecast isn't all tepid: The cooler temperatures have kept pests away and should lead to a bounty of head lettuce.
"Everyone is in a wait-and-see mode," Christensen says. "But once the weather heats up, I expect to hear from lots of gardeners asking about heat-resistant and drought-tolerant plants."
Christensen has dozens of heirloom-tomato plants, from cherry to slicers, and she recommends the Eva Purple Ball and Purple Calabash. The former has a sweet taste and a thin pink skin, and it's productive even in extreme heat. The Purple Calabash looks like a Cinderella pumpkin and deserves to be the T in your BLT.
"I know this year will be great," she says. "I just don't know how yet. That's farming. It's a little different each year. If you want to eat locally, you have to roll with it."
Christensen is selling transplants and produce at the BadSeed Farmers Market (1909 McGee) Friday nights and at the Brookside Farmers Market (63rd Street and Wornall) Saturday mornings through June.