“Mark and I just got back from our annual retreat to Montreal. We were wearing our town clothes and I thought we were looking pretty good, but not good enough for all the attention we were drawing on the street. Then I saw that Mark had his knit hat on inside out, and it was all covered with bits of straw. He was also carrying a big duffle bag with a broken strap, and wearing international orange gloves. Man, I thought, I can’t take him anywhere! Then, while pointing at his hat, I realized the cuff of my own glove was speckled with chaff and seeds. And these were my good gloves, the ones I don’t farm in unless I can’t find the other pair. I am a legitimate hayseed, I thought. This did not dampen my enjoyment of the city. We walked all over town, ate Chinese dumplings, went ice skating in Parc La Fountain, and meanwhile fulfilled the purpose of our trip: talking about where the farm is, and where it is going.
We decided the focus this year will be on improving the share, and acquiring the infrastructure needed to do that. We reaffirmed our commitment to draft horse power, and the goal of having a fossil fuel free farm in five years. And then there is Essex Farm Academy. Mark came back from PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) last week captivated by the idea of creating an elite training school for new farmers. His vision is to raise enough money to fully fund the education of 15 to 20 exceptional, motivated students per year, and turn them into skilled, productive, horse-powered farmers through a combination of practical and theoretical training. I don’t know exactly where this idea is going yet, but his enthusiasm is contagious…” [Continue reading.]
- Essex Farm Updates (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- The Dirty Life – A Barncast by The Wild Center (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- The Dirty Life, By Kristin Kimball (independent.co.uk)
- Horse Power at Essex Farm (essexonlakechamplain.com)