Week 17, 2020|Kristin Kimball |April 24, 2020

I’ve never been so grateful for the bustle of spring. Some years I brace against what I know is coming, but this year, I welcome it. I’m grateful we have abundant food here, and abundant work, and a lot of space in which to move around safely. My heart is with those of you who are longing for those things right now. 

So much to report from the field. Charlie spread 27 loads of our farm-made compost on 4 acres of ground this week for a bonanza of fertility to be used for potatoes and early vegetables. We’ll eventually have 20 to 25 acres in veg, so this is a good start. Mark spent many hours on the tractor this week, prepping ground and planting. Happy to say that every inch of our drained ground is now seeded to oat and pea cover crop, with thanks to the New York State Soil and Water grant that covered half the cost of that. Team Davis – Liam, Ryan and Pandora – finished the new greenhouse this week, before departing for their next adventure. They nailed a fiercely beautiful boar skull just below the ridgepole and I’ll think of them fondly every time I look at those tusks. We ran out of our own hay this week and had to buy some. Thanks to Anne Brown for diligent sourcing and Jon Christian for quick delivery. We’re another week or two from pasture, even if all the conditions go our way, so there was no way around it. And the first four lambs have arrived, a set of twins and two singles, just a tick ahead of schedule.

Homeschool has devolved into farmschool here. It was inevitable, considering the season. After lessons this week we potted up tomato plants in the greenhouse, and welcomed those first lambs. I taught Miranda how to use the microscope to spot strongyle eggs in fecal samples. I try to slip some learning in (So, what do you think the purpose of floatation solution is? Is it more or less dense than water?) but they bristle at it, in the same way they used to if I tried to serve them chocolate cake secretly made with beets. Still they are helpful, and they love the relative freedom from school, and we have a great time working together. Another thing to be grateful for. We’ve also been having a blast in the kitchen. We try to cook one real meal a day together, and use leftovers for the rest in an attempt to manage our time well. One rainy day after hitting the wall of frustration with math we had a bake off. I made apple cake, Jane made apple pie (we had a lot of apples to use up) and Miranda made meringues and they all tied for first and we were very happy, at least until the sugar crash. Yesterday we made homemade egg noodles topped with tomato sauce, a fun project to try if you’ve grown tired of making bread. You can do it by rolling it out and cutting the dough by hand but if you want to do it with any frequency you’ll want to invest in a pasta maker. Today is Jamaican oxtail stew and garlic mashed potatoes. Will let you know how it turns out. 

Members and farm store customers, please wear a mask at pickup. We have some available if you need one, and a fresh gallon of hand sanitizer, thanks to Essex Town Hall. And thank you members for adjusting to the new pickup protocols! Everyone has their own 15 minute slot and it seems to be going smoothly. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this new-normal 17th week of 2020. The farm store is stocked and open for business and we have room for local and delivered shareholders so get in touch if you are interested. Find us in the office at 518-963-4613, or mark’s cell 518-570-6399, by email at essexfarm@gmail.com, on the web and insta at essexfarmcsa, kristinxkimball, and farmerkimball

-Kristin & Mark Kimball