Week 38, 2022|Kristin Kimball|September 23, 2022

A speedy note this week, as I’m off to the city with our young Spanish exchange student, Elena, who has been with us for three months and is heading back to Madrid today. We will miss her! And she will miss the farm, I know. Mark just got back from his week in California and Oregon with his dear friends. He kayaked in the San Francisco bay, biked all over central Oregon, and came home tired but with a good perspective on how lucky we are to be in a place with water. Driving the Central Valley of California, the epicenter of America’s large scale vegetable production, he saw that 70% of the land is not planted, because the profound drought has driven the price of irrigation water to $1100 an acre foot. Back home, the precious rain fell on us for several days while he was gone, and the fall pastures are verdant. It’s a race to get enough sunlight now, to keep those cool season grasses going and pastures productive for as long as possible. Here’s the news you need for this week: 

No frost yet, though it’s chilly enough for a little fire in the woodstove this morning. That means we still have raspberries on the canes for local members to pick. Come anytime, and enjoy the gorgeous late-September landscape. The hot crops like tomatoes, peppers, and corn are dwindling to nothing and the quality is decreasing rapidly. Look to the fall vegetables now for their moment of perfection: the hardy greens, cauliflower, the new carrots, and soon the winter squashes, which look quite beautiful in the field now, as their leaves die back to reveal the orbs of orange, green, and yellow. 

Our member Kate Steinberg will be at distribution today to show people her natural laundry soap, Stone Mountain Suds, which she makes and packages in reusable glass jugs, and has for sale in the farm store. If you are looking for a zero waste alternative to your laundry problems, talk to Kate!

We are looking for last-minute accommodations near the farm for friend-of-the-farm Maya, who is coming from Minnesota to volunteer here for a week. Maya is a mature adult, very kind and easy to host. Our plan for her fell through due to the planned host’s coming down with Covid, so we’re scrambling a little. If anyone has a room or an empty house she could use, please reach out to Mark at 518-570-6399.

Huge thanks to the team this week for amazing work under pressure. When Mark leaves, things go awry, and this trip was no exception! Also, we send gratitude too big for words to Mark Bimonte who canceled a vacation to come fix our freezer full of meat. This is the SECOND time we’ve caught him on the way out of town and called him in to fix something. Thank you, Mark! 

We are looking for staff to fill in some important positions this fall! We especially need two people who would like to learn to milk, especially in the morning, and work with animals; we also need people to do some routine jobs that happen every week like emptying and cleaning the bins and insulated liners that come back from our delivered shares, bagging grain for delivery, etc. This is the sort of stuff that can happen on a flexible schedule and requires no skill and little training, so if you’re looking for a way to get involved or a part-time job, drop us an email. And we welcome any volunteer help in the fields these days, as we gear up for the big fall harvests. That’s the news from Essex Farm for this nippy 38th week of 2022. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, or on the farm, any day but Sunday. 

-K&M Kimball