Week 30, 2019 | Kristin Kimball | Jul 27, 2019

A quick note, full of news and invitations. The weather has been hot and sunny during the day, and cool at night, ideal for the approach of August. We had a spot of bad luck yesterday, when we had a lot of valuable hay on the ground nearly ready to be baled, and a forecast that looked clear and dry for a week. Unfortunately, we got rained on anyway. So it goes. The hay will get made, just not as perfectly as we had hoped. On the other hand, the sight of the crops today is an uplifting experience. Usually, on a wet year like this one, the plants look washed out and yellow in the low places, but this year, on drained ground stoked with plenty of home-produced compost, they look lush, green, and well-fed, and they promise good yields. There’s not much that could stop us from getting to harvest now. In fact, the big harvests have begun. The year’s supply of garlic is in the loft for drying now. The spring carrots are in. The cucumbers are coming, and so are the summer squashes and zucchinis. And there is a full mile of tomatoes in the field – a long mile to the farmers who have pruned and then trellised three times, and are about to start the heavy work of picking. Zohar reminded us today: do not judge a tomato’s ripeness by its color this year, but by its texture and taste. Along with red slicers and pastes, we are growing a pink heirloom, a purple heirloom, and an orange slicer that can look unripe when you are expecting deep red. Don’t miss out on them. Herbs are a real highlight again this year. I’ve been cooking with massive handfuls of sage, parsley, basil, and cilantro. If you have abundant herbs, good butter, salt and fresh vegetables, what more do you really need in the kitchen? That’s the beauty of summer food. It’s nearly impossible to be a bad cook this time of year. If you are spending any time wondering what to make these days, my advice is think less, do less, see how naked you can get food to the table, and how delicious it is anyway.

Speaking of delicious, we have a few spaces left for the August 1st popup dinnerthat chef Gretchen Brinson is throwing at Barrow’s Intense Tasting Room in Brooklyn, using Essex Farm food. Mark will help harvest food for it, bring it down, and join everyone for dinner and conversation. Gretchen is crafting the menu around our chickens and summer vegetables. Cocktails are included. We hope you can make it!

Invitation #2: please join us for weeding, anytime. I realize this is not the same as cocktails and dinner. But we really do have the most satisfying weeding available right now! We have weeds for every level of effort. There are dense patches of galinsoga growing among the perennial crops for the ambitious athletic weeders, and long clean rows of corn with a few large pigweeds in them for people who fancy what amounts to a stroll through an agricultural landscape, with a bit of weed pulling thrown in. Come join us! It’s stunningly beautiful out there, and the company is good too.

We added an 11-year-old French girl to our family yesterday, here for a language and cultural exchange. Maria comes from a small village in the northwest that is surrounded by farmland, so there are some familiar elements. She will be with us until October, when Jane (who is also 11) will go live with Maria’s family for three months. It is such a pleasure to welcome this brave and bright girl to Essex for what we hope will be the first of many stays. Say bonjour if you see her in the farmyard. And that is the news from Essex Farm for this late-July 30th week of 2019. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, on the web and insta at essexfarmcsa, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball