“I’m writing from the back step of the farmhouse today. The soft south breeze is carrying the heavy scent of lilacs, and the barn swallows, on morning shift, are swooping low over the pond, which is loud with frogs. The ponies are mowing the back lawn for me, and the orphan lamb, Jessica, is blatting from her pen in the front yard. I love mid-May. There is nothing, and then, everything. The long-awaited grass is suddenly to our knees in spots, and the annual plants are coming on, and so are the weeds. There is no lack of work, but it’s all good work, in fine weather, without flies. It will only be a matter of days before the green-headed horseflies hatch but we will all enjoy it while it lasts.
The questions Mark and I discuss at the dinner table now are all about priorities. How much should we plant against the grain bill this year? And what should it be? Green crops, or corn and soybeans? How much labor can we spare from the rest of the farm to do it, and how much should we hire out? These decisions will be made in the next two weeks, and will shape the economic outcome of the next twelve months….” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.