“At morning meeting today, Mark looked around at the assembled crew of twenty and wondered aloud how long it has been since this piece of good land has seen so much concerted effort applied to it, in the form of muscle and sweat. Decades, or centuries?
We have a very big crew for this early in the season, and there is still plenty of work to go around. All hands went to the field for planting ahead of the predicted thunderstorm on Wednesday – a storm that never really materialized, but did give us a sprinkle of much needed moisture. The gorgeous tomato plants moved from the greenhouse into the ground, along with all the peppers. We saw the first round of hand hoeing, plus many hours of horse cultivating, and fast, nimble temporary fencing.
But the most impressive movement on the farm right now might be the un-human kind: the collective action of millions of seeds, emerging, right now, from the soil. There are dry beans and popcorn sprouting, and Mark planted nine acres of field corn on Tuesday, on our best ground. Each kernel is awakening beneath the surface now, unspooling its white thread of a root, sending up the tiny green twin flag of first leaves. It is hard to imagine that these tender babies will soon be mighty, seven foot stalks, and if all goes well, they will yield 6,000 lbs of energy-dense food per acre. That is the magic of corn…” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.