Week 51, 2018 | Kristin Kimball | Dec 21, 2018

Please forgive the brevity of the note this week, members. I’m pushing through the last part of my new book, which is shipping off to my patient editor at Scribner the first week in January, and I have more or less melted into my desk. The book now has a title – Good Husbandry – and a publication date of fall 2019.

Good news from the field this week. Mark Wrisley got his combine up and running and was able to harvest our corn and the soybeans at the end of last weekend’s cold spell, while the ground was still frozen. Mark was out of town so Scott Hoffman masterminded the logistics of getting it from the dump truck into the grain bin. (He also managed to spread compost on the harvested corn ground before the temperature rose.) It feels so good to have all those carbohydrates and all that protein safe under cover, especially with this cold rain turning the fields to muck. Yields were varied – excellent in some spots and poor in others, for an average grade of fair. Mark Wrisely said it was the cleanest soy field he’d ever seen. That was nice to hear, because the weed control in that field was hard-won, and involved a lot of hours with tractors, horses, and humans with hoes. Raw soy is not very palatable and contains some anti-nutritional factors, so it needs to be roasted before it can be ground and fed to animals. Mark Wrisley will come back to do that in the New Year. I always look forward to soy roasting day because the whole farm smells pleasantly like the inside of a box of breakfast cereal.

Mark, Tara, Chris and Jonas spent the morning in the butcher shop today, cutting some beautiful lamb, beef and pork. I think I have settled on lamb for our big Christmas meal, along with Yorkshire pudding, roasted butternut squash, and creamed kale with leeks. And reading that, it occurs to me I should probably throw in a grated carrot salad, to lighten the plate a little. Wherever and whatever you celebrate, we hope your holidays are full of peace, joy, excellent food and loving people.

Members, please join us again for 2019, and spread the word that we are welcoming new members locally, in New York City, in the Albany area, and all over the Adirondacks. We have great plans for the year – new varieties of vegetables, more 100% grass-fed meats, new dairy products from the facility we’re building, and maybe tempeh from that soy we just harvested – and we really really want to feed you. We are so grateful to each of you for being part of our farm family. And that is the news for this wet yuletide 51st week of 2018. Like us on Facebook to see what we post there. I’m off my Instagram game while I’m on deadline, but check back there (at essexfarmcsa) after January 6th. And you can always find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, on the web at essexfarmcsa, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball