Essex Farm Note
Week 42, 2013
If you believe as I do that every farm has a persona, then ours may well be a buxom grandmother from the old country. “Eat!” she says. “Eat!” Baby greens and exotic varieties are not her thing, but she loves to fill bellies, and will heap your plate with meat and potatoes, hearty roots, whole grains, leafy greens. That is what I was thinking this week, as we brought in four of our biggest harvests of the year. First, potatoes. We planted two acres on good ground and the yield was fantastic; 15:1 would be my conservative guess. We have more than 10 tons of reds, whites and blues curing in the covered barnyard now. The best part is that unlike last year, the tubers are huge, which made harvest very satisfying for us, and will make peeling a joy for you. Thank you to the Essex Farmers, who pushed through one long hard day to get them in. The last ones came in under a bright moon. The next day, the Fledging Crow crew joined us for the first round of cabbage harvest. Again, the yield was phenomenal, with huge, sweet, rock-hard heads. Thank you so much, Crows! Yesterday was a big carrot harvest day. There are more in the field, along with the big loads of beets, rutabaga, kohlrabi, and celeriac, but it was a good start.
The phones are abuzz right now with farmers looking to make trades for their bumper crops. Our produce is so good and plentiful this year, we have a lot to offer. Yesterday, we traded our friends at the Intervale some of our surplus onions for some of their extra broccoli. Aubrey said she’d never thought of broccoli as beautiful before she saw this stuff. It is all in the share today, so members, please take advantage of this opportunity, and get some in your freezer. We had cream of broccoli soup for lunch this week. What a treat. The Intervale also loaned us their very cool onion-topping machine. This will reduce our onion-cleaning labor by a factor of four. Who knew such a machine existed?
We’re down to six milking cows, and they are late in their lactation, so production is low. We will set limits on the milk depending on how many people are taking it on any given day. The cows freshen in a month, so this is our annual temporary limit. Luckily it comes as all the other products are at their peak of abundance!
Finally, please help us welcome Mary, Jet’s daughter, who is 9 weeks old and as cute as they come, not to mention pretty darn handy for a baby. She arrived from Pennsylvania on Wednesday. And that is the news from Essex Farm for this still-no-frost 42nd week of 2013. Find us at 518-963-4613, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball