Week 47, 2022|Kristin Kimball|November 25, 2022

The sun put on a good show for us on Thanksgiving morning, melting the snow on the surface of the soil and turning it dark again so that it seemed to drink in the warmth for the long winter ahead. We had a wonderful crowd of people in the field to bring in the carrots. I know this sounds crazy but I can’t think of a way I’d rather spend a holiday morning than with my hands in the dirt, pulling those sweet orange prizes out of the ground alongside a bunch of good people. There were some new faces here, and many familiar ones, and it was delightful to work and talk, or be quiet and listen as new connections were made, and neighborhood news was passed between old friends. We got over a ton of carrots bagged and stored in a pleasant two hours. And it did wonders for the appetite! Not to mention the afternoon nap, which, speaking for myself, was profound and refreshing. Thank you, thank you to those who came.

    Mark and Miranda are due home from Mexico at midnight tonight. It has been a different farm without them here! Mark will return to a list of things that only he knows how to fix, decide or execute, but hopefully he will be rested enough to manage his reentry gracefully. (I was not completely lonely, because my mother came to visit, and we had Jane home, along with her roommate, Rebecca, who is from China and can’t go home for breaks.) We had a little panic about potatoes, as the temperature dropped to 12 degrees last Sunday night. Potatoes can’t freeze, and the whole crop was still in giant bins, under cover but exposed to the cold. They must be sorted and bagged before going to storage in the basement of our house for the winter. Normally, when Mark is here, we see these things coming with a little more lead time, but this year it was a last minute rush to find some protection for them in improvised spaces with improvised heaters. This is why our garage is currently full of potatoes instead of a car and the machine shop is similarly fixed. Thanks so much to Bethany and Scott Hoffman for spending last Sunday sorting that out with me.

    We had a new calf, Cranberry, born today in the dairy herd. This is the first of four freshenings we expect in the next weeks, which will begin to alleviate the short milk supply! Everyone is being very patient and we appreciate it. Fresh milk and yogurt are 1:1 products (1 gallon of milk makes 1 gallon of yogurt) but cream, sour cream, and butter require high volumes of milk, which is why those things are in such short supply right now. Egg supply is a little better this week as the hens settle into the greenhouse for the winter, but still limited. Please be sure to check the limits and take only what you need.

Members, we are running short on half gallon jars, and they are still difficult to find and expensive to purchase. If you have a stash at home please return them, along with all the other glass and lids. Finally, we are sending a warm farewell to Nick L this week, with so much gratitude for everything he did here. Happy next chapter to you, Nick. We also say adios to Giulio and Lucas who have been with us from Argentina for the last several weeks. They head back home, to the approaching summer, on Monday. Meanwhile, we welcome Catherine and Ben who are new to the area and to the farm. We’re so glad they are here. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this grateful 47th week of 2022. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, on instagram at essexfarmcsa, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball