Week 3, 2023|Kristin Kimball|January 20, 2023

More up and down winter weather this week. Mud, ice, snow, rain, repeat. Today was one of the white ones, and the school age person in our house was a little bitter that it wasn’t declared a snow day. How soft this mild winter has made you, oh child of the north country! 

Mark has doubled down on his new diet this week. I can’t remember if I told you he stopped eating refined carbohydrates around Christmas time? He has done this for long stretches before, and always says it makes him feel better. This time, though, he’s down to rather massive amounts of lamb and beef, plus salt, water, and kimchi, and he is full of good energy and honestly kind of glowing. For the record, I’m just reporting this, not endorsing it, because I think it’s insane. But apparently he has stumbled blindly, in his very Mark way, into a trend. “Oh, you’re doing the lion diet,” said Liz Resnick, when he told her about it. Who knew this was a thing? Liz comes up a few times a year to make kraut, kimchi and lard for us all, bringing news of the outside world. Liz and I wonder: what happens when you feed a lion diet to the world’s most leonine Leo? Stay tuned, find out.

It has been a desk-bound week for me, working on administrative details and communications. The big win was setting up a trial way to deliver food boxes to people in Manhattan, the Bronx and parts of Brooklyn and Queens next week. It’s two curated boxes of the Essex Farm greatest winter hits, with enough protein, we figure, for two average eaters to make it two weeks. It costs $350, delivered. We’re thinking of this as a stopgap way to get some good food to our people as we chip away at the bigger issues around packing, delivery, and pricing. Mark will be making the drive down to the city, with thanks to our member Danielle Dubois for helping us figure out a frictionless last mile delivery option. If you are in the city and interested in the Winter Boxes but didn’t get the email please check your junk mail or ping Mark via text at 518-570-6399 with your email; we’ll send you the details and the link to order. We have limited capacity right now, so if your order doesn’t make it on this week’s truck we can put you at the top of the list for next time, assuming this one goes smoothly. We’re also sending a load of grass fed meat and bones down to Springbone kitchen next week. Springbone founder Sam Eckstein came to the farm a few years ago and actually camped out among the sheep, which won our hearts forever. Springbone is dedicated to sourcing 100% grass fed animals, and this week they are trialing some menu items using our lamb and lamb broth, so if you are in the city check them out and let them know you’re glad they have Essex Farm on the menu.  

Welcome to the new local members who are coming onboard this week and next! We are so happy to add people to the Essex Farm family. Please continue to help us spread the word, and also let your friends and family know the Essex Farm Food Fund can help bridge the gap between what the share costs and what folks can afford. We’re so grateful to the donors who are making this possible. We still need to grow the local membership significantly in order to have the budget to put seeds in the ground. I feel confident we can do it, if we all pull together. 

We’re starting to plan for the keynote we’re giving at the NOFA New Hampshire conference in Manchester on February 11th. Mark wants to talk about the interdependence between resilient independent farmers and resilient independent consumers in our quickly consolidating food system. I think I see what he’s getting at, and am looking forward to fleshing it out. Please come say hi to us there if you can make it. 

That’s the news from Essex Farm for this winter-beauty 3rd week of 2023. Find us at essexfarm@gmail.com, by text or phone to Mark at 518-570-6399, on Instagram at essexfarmcsa, or on the farm, any day but Sunday. 

-Kristin & Mark Kimball