Week 52, 2022|Kristin Kimball|December 30, 2022

The end of the year is upon us and that means it’s time to renew contracts for 2023. As you know from my last note, members, we are offering a four month local share right now, for on-farm pickup only, running from January through the end of April 2023. We need time to evaluate what to do after that, and we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves if inflation remains high and labor scarce. Please join us for this four month winter share, and give us the courage and cash flow we need to put seeds in the ground for spring. Anything you can do to help convince your friends and neighbors to invest in the farm for the next four months would help us tremendously. You’ll find the contract here. You can print and bring it to the farm yourself or we will have copies ready for you at distribution tomorrow (December 29th).

As you know, we are pausing our delivered shares for at least the month of January as we try to figure out a price structure and delivery plan that is sustainable for the farm and our members. So many of you have already reached out after reading the last note with creative ideas and general support, and we’re so grateful for it. We will be in touch as plans evolve.

You can expect this winter’s local share to be the same as previous years: plenty of meat, dairy, grains and dry goods, all the root and storage crops – carrots, lots of different types of potatoes, juicy cabbages, onions, etc. – plus stunningly delicious fermented vegetables and our good rendered fats. If you have any questions, Mark and I are happy to answer them. You can text or call us at 518-570-6399.

We’ve been busy with end of year work, staff meetings, and budget sessions this week, plus shifting livestock from distant fields to a more consolidated footprint, to make feeding and watering easier. We expect to bring the whole flock of ewes and lambs back from Lewis Family Farm next week. Huge thanks to Paul and everyone at Lewis Family Farm for grazing them for us this year, and hanging on to them for a bit longer than any of us planned! It was such a joy to see them on those rolling green fields this year, and they look every bit as good as the good grass they were eating.

We were able to get a surprise slot at the butcher so we moved some fat pigs, cattle and sheep off the feed bill and into the freezer this week. Hooray for that! Because we always tell you when we step outside of the organic standard, please note that one batch of the pork sausage has conventional spices in it. We are hoping to send organic spices with the next load of pigs on Monday. Meanwhile, we’re awaiting three new calves in the dairy herd in the next few weeks, which will bring a cheerful blast of new life in the dark of the season.

In other news, we are looking for a retirement home for Martina, our 18-year-old barn cat. She’s been a lovely presence on the farm almost from the beginning, often greets members at distribution, and is clearly a hardy soul! But she has reached an age when she really would prefer an indoor home, a lap to cuddle in, and some soft food to eat. We can’t have her in our house because of the all-out war it would cause with our existing, much younger house cat, Moon. If you are looking for a sweet geriatric companion, let us know. That’s the news from Essex Farm for this final week of 2022. We are wishing you the happiest of New Years, with an abundance of love, joy and delicious food in 2023. We are letting go of the farm land line so find us by phone or text at 518-570-6399, essexfarm@gmail.com, on Instagram at essexfarmcsa and kristinxkimball, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball