Glad to be Here

Week 31, 2013

There has not yet been a season poor enough to dent the pleasures of this farm at the beginning of August. The tomatoes are heavy on the vines, the onions and the shallots are fat, the corn is above our heads, and the first plump fall raspberries are coming ripe, with the tantalizing promise of a good flush in a couple of weeks if all goes well. Yesterday, as we took our weekly walking inventory, Mark said he’d never seen a stand of soy so lovely. We stood there for a moment, taking in its bright green loveliness, and marveling at the generosity of the soil, which has been good to us despite what it’s been through this year. I do love this place with my whole heart, and never more than when it has brought us to the brink of despair and back off of it again, a few inches at least. Meanwhile, the weather has gone Dr. Jekyll on us, after all those weeks of Hyde. Soft breezes, strong sun, and cool nights good for sleeping. Yesterday we even got the gentle rain that we needed but were hesitant to wish for, lest we wouldn’t be able to shut it off again. That is good news for the hay ground, as it makes a decent second cutting of hay seem likely. And if you felt a small squall cross Essex yesterday that was Mark and I, heaving a great sigh of relief. We’d gotten a letter from the IRS last week, saying we owed $9,000 in back taxes, but yesterday we heard from our accountant, who says it looks like it was the IRS’s mistake. Whew!

We had our first official Essex Farm Institute event this week: a walking plow workshop at Reber Rock Farm. Nathan and Chad explained the mechanics and the surprisingly complex geometry of that elegant old tool, and everyone got to try their hand at guiding it, while Chad drove the horses.

Now, three events to tout. It’s Essex County Fair week. We have a display up, thanks to Amy, and plan on taking the kids over on Saturday afternoon. Jane has been fantasizing about cotton candy since last year. Next, we’re co-hosting an all-you-can-eat pizza event at the Brick Store in Charlotte, Vermont on Sunday, August 12th, time and price to be announced. Come over and help us recruit some new members from across the lake! Finally, I’m giving a talk and reading at Camp Dudley in Westport on Sunday, August 25th, to benefit the Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin County. The talk starts at 1pm, with a book signing to follow. $15 per person. For more info call 518-546-3008 or visit www.litvol.com.

Warm welcome to Malcolm Drenttel, who has joined us for the month of August. He spent last semester in the farm program at the Mountain School in Vermont. We say goodbye to Isabelle today, the teenage powerhouse who kept us all laughing while cranking through enormous amounts of grunt work. We will miss you, Isabelle, and can’t wait to see you again next summer. We’ll save our goodbye to Luke Barns for next week, as he still has a few days here and we can only take so much. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this glad-to-be-here 31st week of 2013.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball

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