Mad transplanting

Essex Farm Note

Week 21, 2013

We are becoming so high tech around here, in an old-fashioned kind of way. We have a large screen TV in the office trailer now, where Mark projects the day’s objectives during morning team meeting. He is using a program called Trello to organize the farm and his brain – no small tasks, those. And we have a splash page up at our future web site, featuring our new marketing poster. Check it out at www.essexfarmcsa.com. Note that we are eagerly seeking new members right now! If you love the share, please tell your friends. We’d like to add 30 more families by the peak of the season. While you’re at it, take a look at the slideshow posted at www.essexfarminstitute.org, which introduces our very exciting new venture. Essex Farm Institute will train farmers to build resilient, diversified farms that are economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally beneficial. Essex Farm Institute is fiscally sponsored by the Open Space Institute, and we aim to enroll our first students in the fall of 2014. Special thanks to Terri Jamison and Ben Stechschulte for the design and photography on both those sites. Let us know what you think, everyone.

Speaking of economic viability, the big debate on the farm this week is whether or not to buy a used skid steer that’s for sale in our neighborhood– a compact, almost petite piece of heavy equipment with a bucket loader on front. We’ve dreamed of one for years. It is very maneuverable, and ideal for turning compost, fixing farm roads, and lifting all sorts of heavy things. It would save us money and time in the long run, but cash flow is tight.

Now a few housekeeping items. Please be sure to bring back your glass jars spanking clean. That means without anything stuck to them. We rewash and sanitize all the glass before filling it, but jars with stuff stuck to them slow us way down. The best way to wash them at home is with a cold rinse, then a hot soapy scrub, and a hot rinse. Dishwashers do a good job but not if there is stuck-on stuff around the threads. And before you put lids in the dishwasher be sure to check their threads and rub off any grease pencil marks on top. Otherwise they get cooked on and are difficult to remove. Also, we really need the jars to stay in circulation. Bring them back every week. If you need jars for other uses, we are selling them by the case at a very good price. See Amy at distro. Finally, as veteran members know, milk must be kept cold and clean. We recommend bringing coolers and ice to the farm to keep your milk chilled on the way home. If your milk is going sour too quickly, check your fridge temperature – between 35 and 38 degrees is ideal. Note that the door shelf is the warmest part of the fridge, so don’t store your milk there. Milk can be frozen for longer storage.  And that is the news from Essex Farm for this mad-transplanting 21st week of 2013.  – Kristin & Mark Kimball

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