Essex Farm Note

Week 7, 2013


Well, Mark wrecked his knee at Whiteface last week. It was supposed to be a recreational day of skiing for our whole crew. I was tempted to go, to watch a pack of farmers careen down the mountain, but I decided to stay home. The last thing I said as they pulled out of the driveway was, “Please don’t let Mark get hurt!” Mid-morning, I got a text from Cory: Welp, he’s hurt. He got off the gondola on the first real run of the morning, and got twisted up in his skis before he even reached the hill. It was a low speed wreck, but he is officially good and hurt. Brian, our physical therapist, suspects his ACL is pretty much gone. We’re probably looking at surgery, and a long recovery. Brian suggested we find a sports medicine-oriented orthopedic surgeon who can understand the kind of abuse Mark’s knee is going to take in the next fifty or sixty years. I’ve never been so glad to have health insurance. Mark says he feels lucky that this happened this year, with our big strong team of farmers in place, and not in year one or two or three, when it might have sunk us.

We have new faces on the farm this week. Matt and Aubrey come as a pair, with a lot of interesting experience behind them. Matt graduated from culinary school, then spent a year working for Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm in Virginia. Polyface has long been well-known in the small farm world for its innovative diversification, but it was made famous in the mainstream by Michael Pollan’s  bestselling Omnivore’s Dilemma. Aubrey worked for Outstanding in the Field, a “restaurant without walls” that travels the USA, throwing fancy, locally sourced dinners on farms and ranches. Then she worked for Eliot Coleman at his iconic Four Season Farm in Maine. It’s wonderful to have them here, and we look forward to seeing what their various experience adds to Essex Farm. Members, please help us make them feel welcome.

What else to report? It was good sugar weather this week, a very early start to the season. We are not tapped, and considering Mark is out of commission, it’s probably safe to say we won’t be sugaring this year. We will all miss it, but it gives us a chance to get geared up for the growing season. It’s closer than it might appear. Gwen worked on the chick order this week; the first batch will arrive in March. Jenny is traveling in Colombia but sent an email today saying she is dreaming about the seed order.

A quick word of explanation on the firewood share. We are currently stockpiling wood to dry for next year’s heating season. It will be available for members next fall as part of the share, free choice. We are still working out details about how to distribute it. It would be unwieldy for members to take it every week, like we do the food, but neither would it work to have everyone take their whole load at the beginning of the season. Maybe monthly? Your input would be appreciated.

And that is the news from this mild 7th week of 2013.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball

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