“The cold came, making tarmac out of fields that were mud only a week ago. Yesterday, Derek and Mark Wrisley drove their combine across Newfield, eating 10-foot swaths of corn and leaving stubble in their wake. By the end of the day they’d put 80 tons of shell corn in our bin. It’s the most we’ve ever grown, enough corn to feed all of us – humans and animals – for the next year. At about $500 per ton for organic corn, it was a $40,000 harvest, and it makes the monthly payment on the drainage we put into that field a more cheerful check to write. Our yields in Newfield should improve as we continue to use cover crops and compost to build fertility and organic matter on its silt soil.
The below-zero temperatures today have called halt to greenhouse production for the year. Kirsten harvested the rest of the lettuce, chard, and spinach yesterday. The tomato vines, no longer producing, died a natural death almost as soon as she turned off their propane life-support system. The new greenhouse gave us an extra six weeks of greens production this fall, and should bring greens to us several weeks earlier than usual next spring. We will also have frozen spinach available this winter, thanks to a good harvest and the crew at the Hub on the Hill….” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.