“I have said before that a farm is like a slot machine: taking taking taking until you forswear the whole game, and then, on the last dime, jackpot. This week the spin kept coming up lemons. Three inches of rain in 30 hours, on top of too much rain last week. The fields too wet to walk on, let along work, and the unplanted seed corn – 50 acres worth – sitting in the granary, a silent reprimand for decisions made and bets placed that cannot now be undone. The price of organic corn is running $650 a ton. I woke up several times in the middle of the night to the sound of the rain and the weight of unwieldy numbers in my head.
Then today came, with sun, and a cheery cool drying wind. Mark and I set out for the drained fields after lunch, to see what the plants have done. Suddenly, the world didn’t look so bad. In the drained fields, we have a lot of food coming. The soybeans, five acres worth, are up and lovely, without that poor, yellow cast they always had when we tried to grow them in undrained ground. The potatoes that Liam and Jenny and Cory and Matt planted have breasted the surface of the soil, ten thousand dark green rosettes that are full of health and vigor.
The transplants – the peppers, tomatoes, the eggplants – are the best I’ve seen on our place, ever. And the fifteen acres of field corn that we managed to plant, thanks to Cory’s and Liam’s near all-nighters, is three inches tall, looking happy to be here. We have rye that is heading out, too, and dry beans sprouted. Before hurrying back to write this note, Mark and I cruised the strawberries, and found one fat ripe one each. I hope everyone gets a good taste of them in the coming weeks…” (Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.)
- Essex Farm: Hustle (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Mad Transplanting (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm Institute (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Alien Asparagus (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)