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In New England, killing frosts in the late spring and early fall mark the limits of the region's growing seasons. Over the years, farmers have tried to anticipate when to plant and when to harvest to safely prevent their crops from experiencing the harmful effects of freezing. As a hedge against failing memory, some farmers kept notes on when killing frosts occurred so that they could more readily calculate in the years to come when to sow and when to reap. Some of these notes have survived and are now preserved in archives and libraries across the region, or remain the proud possessions of later generations of the same families. The growing season records reconstructed for this bulletin are based on data taken from these diaries, farm journals, notebooks, and scraps of paper and represent the observations of several generations of New England farmers.
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Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station
climate history, frosts, New England, Maine
Agriculture | Climate
Baron, W.R., and D.C. Smith. 1996. Growing season parameter reconstructions for New England using killing frost records, 1697-1947. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Bulletin 846.