Urban agriculture

It’s raining pitchforks and stair-rods!

ghse dance.
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Working in the hort/agricultural trades, my life revolves around weather.  Everything from my crops’ health to our harvests to my comfort at work is dictated by whether the sun is shining or hail is falling from the sky!  Even in the greenhouse, rainy days mean little sunlight and damp air conditions (to the left you can see my “go away rain” dance in my home transplanting greenhouse).  The last few days have seen intermittent torrential showers but long sunny patches, and even though the rain is intense when it comes, I don’t want to lose whole days of work.  Not only that, but I know for a fact that it is often clear at one of my other properties when it’s raining at home.

Frustrated, early this morning I posted this status:

I want real time weather forecasting!!!
Not “40% chance of maybe thunderstorms tapering off by midday” speculation but “there’s drops of water falling from the f*ing sky right f*ing now” !!! Yes I know I could just look outside, but I want to know if it’s currently raining somewhere else before driving there cause it’s often doing something different at my work garden in the Falls than here when the weather forecast for both says the exact same thing.

Thanks to a few friends who commented on that post I now know that there is such a thing!

I was previously just using the Environment Canada Weather Site, opening a window for each work region:

It actually worked relatively well to give me an idea generally how the week would go, but as I mentioned in my frustrated post, not what it was doing in real time, in each of the areas that I have an outdoor workplace!

I’m now using the Weather Network’s FarmZone site, where the static forecasting page includes not just a 24hr / 7day forecast but an hourly forecast plus other relevant information such as Drying Index, Growing Degree Days, Crop Heat Units, Sunrise/Sunset, Hours of Sunshine, UV Index and even risk for crop diseases such as Sclerotinia.  But most helpful, what FarmZone has is an Interactive Weather Map displaying satellite (cloud cover) & radar (precipitation) animations in live real-time action as well as the modeled forecast.

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