Grass-hopping

Essex Farm Note

Week 34, 2016

This is the week of transition, the middle age of the year. We’re finished with the idealistic phase now, when we’re always asking the question, what should we do? All the big choices of the year have been made, and the question, now, is how much can be done in the time we have left? How much harvest, how much weeding, how much work before the frost? We’ve shifted from offence to defense: we weed now not to save a crop but to keep billions and billions of seeds from dropping on our good soil. We try to balance the panic of what will inevitably be left undone with the satisfaction of all that has been completed. Sweet corn is coming in now, and loads of cantaloupe and watermelon. The fall raspberries are beginning to ripen, guarded by an army of fierce yellow jackets, barracked in the canes. We got lucky with the weather yet again yesterday: the rain showers all over the region somehow missed our field, with 25 acres of second cut down. Two more cows will be dried off this evening, but Kite and Calliope, the first due to calve, are beginning to bag up. They were bull bred, so we are not exactly sure when it will happen, but probably two or three weeks from now. They moved back to the milking herd today.

On Monday, August 29th, the Essex Farm Institute is hosting its first public forum, at the Whallonsburgh Grange, with special guest Anthony Flaccavento, author of Building A Healthy Economy From the Bottom Up. The title of the event is Resilient Farms, Resilient Communities; the conversation will focus on the place of sustainable agriculture in the economic development of rural economies, and how our farms and our communities can work together to respond to climate change in the Adirondacks. Anthony was the founder of SCALE: Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies; ten years ago, he created a food hub in Virginia that is still going strong, and he is a certified organic farmer with 15 years of experience. We’re excited to welcome Anthony to our community and hope you will all join us for this discussion. Curt Gervich of SUNY Plattsburgh will facilitate, and Northern Feast Catering will be at the Grange serving crepes from 5:00 to 6:15; the event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6:30. Please help us spread the word. And that is the news from Essex Farm for this grass-hopping 34th week of 2016. Find us at 518-963-4613, essexfarm@gmail.com, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.                                                                                                                        –Kristin & Mark Kimball

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