Week 27, 2021｜Kristin Kimball｜July 9, 2021
We got a soft, persistent rain through the night, exactly what we needed to water in forty acres of newly-planted cover crop seed. The end of this week saw a big push to plant it — sorghum sudan grass, a fast-growing, vigorous hybrid that can be grazed, or baled, or turned in to capture its carbon; and buckwheat, which will spring up so fast it will outpace and smother the weeds, then bloom to feed the bees, and finally, get turned back into the soil to improve it for next year’s vegetables. The longest day of the year is in the rearview mirror now, and the last plantings are already in, frost just ten weeks away. The first cutting of hay is finished. The growth in the vegetable fields is riotous. There are suddenly zucchini plants shadowing the ground with their broad leaves, carrots mining their way into the soil, sweet corn reaching up for the light — all of it at the peak of growth, and changing so fast you can almost see it. There’s something so happy about plants that are getting all of their needs met. It’s worth a walk into the rows along Blockhouse Road to visit them.
As we await the summer’s star players, tomatoes and sweet corn, can we take a minute to praise one of the finest character actors in the field? Kohlrabi. It’s having its moment of perfection right now, and we’re eating it almost every day. It’s a nice textural contrast to all the leafy greens on the table, and couldn’t be simpler to prepare. I always wonder why this vegetable isn’t more mainstream. Maybe because it looks like a petite extraterrestrial’s head? If you’re not familiar with it, it tastes like a cross between broccoli and an apple — crisp, crunchy, cruciferous, a little sweet when it’s at its best, like now, and always refreshing. You have to remove all the fibrous outer skin with a knife, then just slice it, and dip it. We like it with yogurt/sour cream/herb/green onion dip, since all those things are plentiful now. There are other ways to prepare kohlrabi (Mark grew up eating it cooked and creamed) but for summer, cold and raw is perfect.
We are making a big goodbye and a simultaneous hello this week, what the girls call a farewelcome. Kathleen Wiley, who coordinated our delivered shares for the last few years, is off on a new adventure, including a hiking trip to Switzerland in the very near future. We are so grateful to Kathleen for making the incredible logistics of delivery work every single week, and for being a friend to all the farmers, members and visitors here. Kathleen is one of the most equanimous people I’ve ever met, smiling through all the chaos and surprises of a busy pack day, whether freezing or sweltering. We will really miss her presence. Now, Rachel Nelson has joined on to take her place. She’s amazing! And so is her family. They have an infant and a toddler and everyone is helping to make this work. So glad you are here, Rachel. We are also saying hello and thank you to Harmony who recently moved to the area and has been coming by as a volunteer and bringing the most delicious farmer lunches. We are so lucky to have an unparalleled team here this year, all incredibly hard working, kind and steady.
The glass and packaging shortage is getting very difficult. If you have any of the farm jars, lids, crates or boxes at home please return them, and make sure they come back regularly every week! And there’s much more news to report, but a ridiculously cute little filly was just born in the pasture, to the morgan mare that is boarding here, and I have to go ogle her. Find us at 518-963-4613, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram at essexfarmcsa, kristinxkimball and farmerkimball, or here on the farm, any day but Sunday.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball