“I was away for six days and when I came home everything was dramatically changed. The strawberry plants had gone from bud to flower to fat green fruit. The cover crop of rye on Monument Field, which had been thigh high, had been tilled in and the field made ready to plant to soybeans. The pastures, when I left, were still full of that soft, short, succulent grass that makes ruminants crazy with pleasure. Now the orchard grass has nearly gone by, its stems tough and topped with seedheads. Things move so fast this time of year, you can’t turn your head, or you lose the thread of the story.
Today, the first lettuces are coming in from Newfield, in gorgeous variety and in abundance. I grazed on a head of red oak leaf lettuce this morning, on my walk home from that field. It was so tender and sweet I ate the whole thing, leaf by leaf, dirt and all, savoring the sweet center last. The heat of the last ten days has accelerated the asparagus to the point where it’s hard to keep up with the picking. And those strawberries! I eyeball them every day when I walk Miranda to the end of the driveway to catch the bus. The fruits on the Early Glow plants are the size of shooter marbles, and yesterday I saw the first blush of red over the green. We might get our few first ripe berries by next week, or certainly the week after that….” Continue Reading this Essex Farm Note.