Essex Farm offers a year-round, full diet, free choice membership. We produce grass-fed beef, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, fifty different kinds of vegetables, milk, grains and flour, fruit, herbs, maple syrup, and soap. Members come to the farm on Fridays, from 3pm to 7pm, and take what they need for the week, in any quantity or combination they choose. We sometimes limit scarce items, like maple syrup or the year’s first tomatoes, but most food is available on an all-you-can-eat basis. Members are encouraged to take extra produce during the growing season for freezing or canning, to supplement what is available from the root cellar during winter and early spring. In addition to food, we offer members the opportunity to hike the farm, visit fields and animals, and join us as volunteers for harvest and field work.
We currently farm 600 acres and feed 222 members. We are powered by fifteen solar panels, nine draft horses, ten full-time farmers, and three tractors. We do not use synthetic fertilizer, herbicide, or pesticide. Our animals eat feed we’ve grown ourselves or local hay and local, certified organic grain. (Essex Farm)
Essex Farm Buzz
Essex Farm (and Kimball’s memoir, The Dirty Life) continue to generate interest in this Adirondack Coast CSA. Here’s what people are saying:
The farm itself is also unusual from the perspectives of its economic base, as well as its adherence to food grown without the use of chemicals and a basic reliance on manual and horse-drawn labor.
The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) economic system by which the farm operates might be considered a cross between Wall Street, with the selling of shares, and a Russian commune or Israeli kibbutz. Basically, it consists of a community of shareholders who financially, physically, legally and spiritually share in the harvests and responsibilities of the farm’s operation. (Press Republican)
Kristin Kimball and her husband, Mark, started Essex Farm in Essex, New York, with a seemingly impossible goal: to provide 100 local residents with every one of their ingredient needs. After a grueling first year, the Kimballs were producing beef, pork, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese, vegetables, herbs, fruit, grains, flour, dried beans, lard and maple syrup. And they did it all the old-fashioned way—using horse-drawn plows, for instance—with no outside help. (Food & Wine)
Farming is often idealized by city folk, and there is some romance to be found in the farm Kimball describes, but there’s also back-breaking work and the hard-earned satisfaction that comes with it. […] Their new farm was not just going to be an example of community-supported agriculture — it would function year-round, and supply the families who worked there with everything they needed. (NPR)
Additional Resources for Essex Farm
Also be sure to check out The Dirty Life, an autobiographical tale of Essex Farm’s beginnings and Kristin Kimball’s transition from city to farm life. I also hear that a sequel in the works!
The farm hosts tours and events periodically throughout the year if you’re interested in a close look at the crops, tools, animals, and farm life in general! Check out the Essex Farm events page to find out about upcoming tours.
Find your way to Essex Farm (2503 NYS Route 22, Essex, NY, 12936) for a visit by using the map below. The farm is only one mile from the Essex-Charlotte Ferry.
View Discover Essex on Lake Champlain in a larger map
- Essex Farm: And So It Begins (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: A Bloody Week (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Muddy-Sweet (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Injury (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm Tour (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)