Harvest Home

Essex Farm Note

Week 45, 2013

It was another week of big harvests here. The Fledging Crow farm crew came over to help get in the celeriac, leeks, daikon, beets, rutabaga and kohlrabi. All that food is safely stored for winter now. Adam and Bob Perry came by with their combine on Monday to harvest the soybeans. Bob joked that the weed control was so good, he thought we were using GMO beans and glyphosate. Nope. Just horses and humans. Watching them come in, I was nervous that they were still too wet, because when I squeezed them, they seemed squishy, but they tested at 13% moisture, which is just about right. They are just so darn rich in oil that they don’t dry down hard like other beans. They can’t be used until they are roasted, so that’s the next step. We’ll have to hire in a giant propane roaster to do it. We got about 12 or 13 tons. While they were here we decided to use their combine to shell the black beans. In the past, we’ve done it with flails, on the hard cement floor of the pavilion, but this year Matt, Scott and Adam pitched them into the maw of the combine, Bob revved the engine, and they came out clean. The moisture was a little high on those beans, at 17%, but Nathan and Racey loaned us their grain dryer, and we’re hoping for the best. We have five or six hundred pounds. There are only a few big field jobs left before we are buttoned up for winter: harvesting mangel beets, parsnips, carrots, and field corn, and planting next year’s garlic.

Poor Gwen had a tough week. She was moving the draft horses from one pasture to another, in a hurry, and decided to walk three of them over an electric line that was on the ground. One of the horses spooked, and jumped in the air, and came down on Gwen’s foot. Luckily, it’s not broken, but it is very sore. It’s a testament to her toughness that she was back at work yesterday.

Mark and I gave a talk on Wednesday evening at the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. We’ve spoken at this conference for the last five years and every year, Mark’s ideas have gotten more outrageous. Two years ago, we both wore wetsuits and scuba gear. Last year, he juggled flaming torches and rode his unicycle. Our message, this year, was that we want to make it socially unacceptable to not fix climate change. If you want to check out the performance, you can find it here. Yeah, that’s me, crowd surfing.

What else to report? Mary the puppy is growing by leaps and bounds. She met the electric fence this week, and recovered nicely. Her bossy genes have kicked in, and she has found her bark. She has also learned sit and lie, and is a sharp little pupil. A newborn beef calf got separated from the herd when they moved pasture. Luckily Travis found the little thing before he got too hungry, and he and Aubrey caught him and got him back to his mama. We are still waiting for calves in the dairy herd. It’s maddening. At least they have finally moved back up near the barn so we can keep a close eye on them. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this blustery 45th week of 2013.                                                            -Kristin & Mark Kimball

Comments are closed.