“It’s the first day of spring. The sunrise this morning was the starting gun of the growing season. Much as we like to say Essex Farm is powered by magic, it is actually powered by sunlight. The whole game of farming – all farming, in all places, throughout history – is based on the capture of sunlight. In our northern region, we work to gather as much sun energy as we can from now until fall, store it, and spread it out through the winter. We capture it in the annual plants, in the pasture, the hay, and in the sugarbush.
The sap that is in the evaporator right now was made by last year’s sunlight. The wood that is heating the sap to an urgent boil is the collected sunlight of the last decade or two. The horses and humans (both fueled by sunlight) have brought in 500 gallons of sap so far. We and everyone else in the neighborhood will have steam rising from our evaporators all weekend long, and before the end of the day today we will get to sample the first sweet taste of last year’s sunlight.
Mark reminded me at breakfast that heat lags light by a month or so. We have enough light now to grow things, but not enough heat. In October, we will have enough heat, but will lack sufficient light. So don’t despair at winter’s bitter grip. The light will loosen it, inevitably, over time….” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.
- Maple Weekends in Reber (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Maple Sugaring (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Mark & Kristin Talk Agr. Ethics at Hamilton College (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Reading Tracks (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)