Week 33, 2022|Kristin Kimball|August 19, 2022

The crows, the ravens and a really determined raccoon have been helping themselves to the mature ears of sweet corn this week. Mark set a havahart trap for the raccoon, baited with tuna, which raccoons find absolutely irresistible. This animal got inside, and felt at home enough to eat every last morsel of fish. Then she managed to bend the bars of the trap enough to escape. Never underestimate a raccoon. Many years ago there was a raccoon here who figured out how to open the door of a refrigerator that was on the porch of a cabin, take out a jar of milk, and unscrew the cap to drink it. Still, we have plenty of corn for everyone. I’ve been steaming two dozen ears every time we eat it, and cutting the leftovers off the cob for use in soups, stews, and salads. Local members, you are always welcome to come pick your own in the field at dinnertime if you are eager for the very freshest. Call or text Mark at 518-570-6399 to get directions to the best rows. The eggplants and peppers are really starting to pop now. My all time favorite, Jimmy Nardello, is the skinny red sweet Italian pepper in the share; when it’s dead ripe it has a fruity, almost cherry-like flavor, accentuated by this year’s dry conditions. All peppers can be frozen without blanching, so they are easy to put in the freezer.

Thank you to the team for so darn many hours of picking green beans this year. We have a delicious newcomer today: new potatoes. We like them best boiled in the skins in heavily salted water, always more than we will eat at one meal, so we have lots left for the next day’s breakfast. Lettuce is coming along, managing to reach water despite the drought, and the deer have not found the most recent plantings, so we hope to have it back into the share in a week or two. Thanks for your patience, members, during this unusually tricky lettuce year. I’ve been making the most of summer cabbage salads in the meantime. The raspberry patch is open for picking your own. There are enough for a good snack but not the freezer this year.

Continued dry conditions mean the second cut hay yields are down to a third of a bale per acre rather than the more typical 2-3 bales per acre. We are very lucky to have a large land base to graze and hay. We have lamb and beef on the way to the butcher now (we haven’t had time to do them in-house), and will have lots of selection of those meats back in the share as soon as they are finished.

Thanks to so many people this week! It really does take a community to bring a harvest home. Thanks to Zuzia, for answering our call for harvest help and being a star in the field; Lars, for hard summer work before he returns to school next week; Susie T for showing up in key moments; Digs and Ada for jumping in with weeding help; Sofie F who is our youngest, newest farmer on payroll. I wish I had room to call out all the members of our regular team by name because they are gold, every one. Come meet everyone and pitch in in the field. We love new faces and fresh hands at the end of August. 518-570-6399 to coordinate. We are starting to build our team for the end of this year and beginning of next! Do you know any farmers finishing their summer seasons, and looking for fall and winter work, or people who are interested in a first job in farming? We are hiring for our animal, dairy, member relations, and plant-focused teams. Please help us spread the word. We have space for affordable rent within a mile of the farm for the first 2 or 3 people we hire. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this exquisite 33rd week of 2022. Find us at 518-963-4613; essexfarm@gmail.com; on Instagram at essexfarmcsa or on the farm, any day but Sunday

.-Kristin & Mark Kimball