Week 11, 2020 | Kristin Kimball | Mar 13, 2020

What a difference a week makes. Last week we were talking about seed order and castration techniques. This week we are talking about social distancing and flattening curves, and taking a deep dive into statistical analysis. This is to say, we are taking the Covid-19 pandemic very seriously here. As farmers, we have an intuitive sense of what exponential growth looks like in natural systems. A single potato bug, unchecked, becomes a mind boggling number of potato bugs so quickly your potato plants seem to disappear overnight. If we are overprepared for what seems to be coming, we might look foolish in retrospect, but so what. We feel it’s our duty – our collective duty — to do everything we can to slow the spread of this virus, both to ease the burden on our health care system, and to make sure we can continue to provide nourishing food for you without disruption. So, we have come up with some protocols that we are implementing today. We know this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and things are going to change, so we’ll stay nimble and be in touch. For now:

  • If you are sick, think you might be getting sick, or have someone at home who is sick, do not come to the farm. Instead, send us your order based on the grocery list. You can email or text us. We already have some volunteers lined up to pack and deliver local shares. Thanks to  Jeff Siegel, Andrea Twetan and Leah Walton who raised their hands immediately when asked if they’d be willing to do this. This community makes my heart happy.  
  • Likewise, if you are in a vulnerable demographic and are staying home or really trying to limit your exposure to other people, we can ask a volunteer to pack your share, and, if needed, deliver it to you or have it ready for pickup.  Or, feel free to pick up over the weekend, instead of on Friday, when you will be less likely to encounter others in enclosed spaces. Just be sure to let us know. 
  • We have rearranged the pavilion to encourage social distancing and limit the number of people who touch utensils. We are pre-wrapping meat so we don’t have a crowd in the butcher shop. And we are sanitizing surfaces very frequently. 
  • There is a new hand washing station set up in the pavilion. 
  • Everyone on the farm has been asked to use best practices for hand washing and social distancing. 

We have also cancelled tomorrow’s Essex Farm dinner at Springbone in New York City and I have cancelled my Cabin Fever talk at Blue Mountain Lake on March 22nd. Stay tuned for info on the other events we have scheduled, like shearing on the 24th

There’s always a bright side, right? I think in this case, it might be in the opportunity to stay home, slow down, be with the people closest to us, and to cook! Let’s see what sort of magic we can conjure out of these late-winter vegetables, some world-class meat, dairy, and grains, plus love, care, and conviction. 

And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this unexpected 11th week of 2020. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, on Insta and the web at essexfarmcsa, kristinxkimball and farmerkimball, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.   

-Kristin & Mark Kimball