Week 44, 2019 | Kristin Kimball | Nov 1, 2019

We got 3″ of rain in this current storm, 8” for the month of October. School is closed today due to high winds and flooding, but so far our power is on and everything is as normal as it gets around here. Mark took Miranda out for a drive this morning to see the Boquet River in glorious flood. They both love the feeling of sitting close to that tremendous liquid power as it reshapes its banks and bottom.

Yesterday was the last broiler chicken slaughter for 2019. Much as we love fresh chicken, everyone here is celebrating. These birds are so delicious and nutritious because each coop gets laboriously moved by hand every day to fresh pasture. It’s a heavy and sometimes messy job, chicken poop being what it is. The benefits are that the birds get to graze on fresh pasture and eat bugs and worms, in addition to their grain (which is Essex Farm grown corn/soy plus certified organic local grain if we run out of our own). And all that gorgeous nitrogen-rich chickenmanure gets laid down in a consistent layer that fertilizes the pasture for future growth. We have enough chickens in the freezer to supply members all winter.

We are going to be in Lake Placid tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, to talk about farming, food, family and Good Husbandry. Bookstore Plus is selling books, and the $10 tickets go to Adirondack North Country Association for their $100,000 matching campaign to fund development grants for our regional farms. So you get to support a great local independent bookstore and a worthy cause, all at once. So please come and please spread the word to all your friends and neighbors. We’ll be even closer to home on November 17th, for a book party at the Whallonsburg Grange. More details on that next week.

The wind and rain and darkness have me feeling very cozy in the kitchen. I’m on a steel cut oats tear this week, rediscovering all the ways that this grain works so well beyond breakfast: as a savory base for braised vegetables or meats, or to add body to a soup. Yesterday, I made a hearty stew with 4 cups homemade beef stock, about half a cup of steel cut oats, kale, carrot, ginger/sage sausage, and a clove of garlic. It was easy and delicious, and fed us all day long. We’ve also been enjoying winter squash several times per week. I had a little sausage left over after making yesterday’s soup so I mixed it with bread crumbs and extra herbs to stuff the cavities of a split butternut plus a pair of delicatas. This puts me in mind of two things I’ve been thinking lately: that whole food cooking is easier withsome forethought, and forethought eventually becomes routine and automatic. Those of you new to the share and struggling to make it convenient will find it gets much easier as you establish routine. The soup took five minutes to make because I had the stock all ready in the refrigerator. I’m in the habit of making a pot of stock every week. I don’t think about it, I just do it, and it always gets used.

In other news, we have a newborn heifer calf in the dairy. Penelope, born to Phoebe, and both are doing well. We sold 20 piglets to Scott Hoffman at Family Cow Farmstead yesterday. Anne delivered them so got to visit with Scott, Aubrey and their cows. Speaking of alumni farmers, I saw Sam Ehrenfeld at my reading at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier VT last week. His School House Farm in Calais is in its first season, selling pastured eggs and grass fed beef. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this wild wild windy 44th week of 2019. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, on insta at kristinxkimball, farmerkimball and essexfarmcsa, or on the farm any day but Sunday. ​​​

-Kristin & Mark Kimball