Week 42, 2021|Kristin Kimball|October 21,  2021

We are deep into the work of bringing the harvest home this week. Half the carrots are in and stored now, with six rows left to dig. Thanks to Echo Farm for the loan of the root digger, which made the job so much easier. They may be the best carrots we have ever grown, and the flavor will only improve in the coming weeks. The cabbages are coming in too; beets, leeks, parsnips, turnip, rutabaga, and radishes are still on the big harvest list. We have not had a frost yet, so there are still warm-season crops in the field, along with all the hardy greens that do just fine in the field until we hit a few hard freezes. We just wrapped up the last chicken slaughter of the year, which means the end of the most arduous sets of chores on the farm. That was cause for celebration for everyone on the crew. (Don’t worry, we have a lot of chickens frozen for winter distribution.) And there are a dozen dairy heifers due to calve before the first of November, which will make us rich in milk. In short, we are swimming in abundance right now, and eating some of the best food on planet earth. 

Speaking of which, our team this year is made up of people from different places, with different backgrounds, but they come together around the challenge of turning sunlight into soil into plants into animals into us, and everyone takes great pleasure in the food we produce. We have professionally-trained chefs and really skilled cooks farming with us, so it’s delightful and instructive to listen to their discussions in the field about what they are cooking for dinner. This week I asked everyone for their go-to choices for easy or ready-made meals and snacks for very busy weeks, and this is what they said:

  • Have a pot of boiled potatoes made for the week. Boiled potatoes with at least sour cream, butter, salt and pepper is a meal, anytime. Bonus is to add chopped herbs. And extra bonus is leftover potatoes fried in ghee with broken eggs for breakfast the next morning! -Bethany
  • Make a pot of beans for the week. Beans can be made into anything from hummus to tacos in an instant. -Rachel
  • The best easy snack is sliced radish sprinkled with salt, or yogurt, plain or blended with fruit. Or carrots. Or sour cream, on bread sprinkled with herbs, or as a dip for vegetables. -Harmony
  • Eggs can be instantly elevated to a company meal by beating in a hefty amount of sour cream and some fresh chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Cook as for a frittata. -Kristin 
  • If all else fails, eat hunks of butter. -Anne (who is very busy with animal team and only half joking) 

The Amish house that’s been here for the last several years is leaving the farm today. Dan and Lovina are moving to Lovina’s father’s place in Reber. There are lots of men here helping, so the barn is full of horses and the barnyard is a parking lot for buggies. I just watched a pack of Amishmen cut the house in half, and jack the halves up five feet in the air, ready to load onto the truck that’s on the way. So now I have seen everything. Meanwhile, the ten electric vehicle chargers installed here this fall are up and running! You need a Chargepoint card to use them, but there is no cost to ‘fill up’ here for the next year. Please spread the word. And if you know any prospective members, please tell them now is a great time to try out the share before we start taking sign ups for 2022. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this warm 42nd week of 2021. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball