Essex Farm Note

Week 36, 2014


This is going to be a quickie because we are haying again and the radiator on the John Deere blew so I’m off to Vermont to get it fixed on the fly.

Tomatoes! The harvest was beautiful and extremely bountiful this week. Members, it is time to put them up. Go, go, go. Sauce, salsa, chutney, or just plain tomatoes, canned, frozen or dried. It is hard to imagine, in the middle of a tomato flood, that the supply will ever go dry, but I promise it will. And there is a certain urgency again this year. The dreaded late blight has been reported here in Northern New York, and so the tomato season could end suddenly at any time. I admit I have not yet put anything up, but this week I hope to do a case or two of salsa (frozen half pints), some canned whole tomato quarts, and as much cilantro (blended in oil and frozen in ice cube trays) as I possibly can.

The wonderful growing weather continues, with unseasonably warm days and sweet cool nights. The jack-o-lantern pumpkins are monstrously big and beginning to turn orange. The fall carrot and beets are sizing up. In the animal world, the first two heifers due  to calve are heavy-bellied and slow now, in the pasture behind the west barn. I run out to check them every few hours. With heifers, it’s hard to read the signs of impending birth, so it could happen today, or in a week. Most of the herd is not being milked now, in order to gain strength and condition before they calve. Therefore, we are at the low point in the year for milk production. Please bear with it. Production will pick up again as soon as calving begins.

Corey is away on vacation so Mark is covering repairs in the machine shop this week. Miranda loves to be out there with him. Yesterday morning, as I loaded her into the car for her first day of school, I smelled, and then saw, a giant blob of machine shop grease in her hair, relic of a morning spent under a tractor with her father. Luckily we live in a community that embraces farm kids and the dirt that comes with them. And that is the news for this plentiful 36th week of 2014.

-Kristin & Mark Kimball

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