I’ve spent the last week digging into old records, field maps and beautifully glossy seed catalogues. Washing the slate clean of 2013’s flooding—dreaming about row after row of vigorous, fruitful plants—beans pods and ripe, juicy tomatoes dripping off their vines, corn stalks stretching over my head and shielding the hot August sun as I pull ears of sweet corn. There’s a little time left to go before the mystery of the coming season unfolds itself. We still have the new irrigation system that we invested in after 2012’s hot, dry summer in the wings. The boxed, rolled and wrapped equipment is piled up in a corner of the barn, still untouched. This year’s vegetables will move back to the field adjacent to the road, a slightly sloped and better draining piece of land.
After several year’s use we know, row by row, what to expect. We know where the soil is sandy and where it is heavier in clay—fast to dry out and crack but also fast to become too sticky and wet to work—slurping your boots in with each step. At this point in the season everything is so orderly. The vegetables rows drawn up by type and variety, the planting and harvesting dates written cleanly on the calendar. In the great rush towards spring, warm weather and fresh greens from the field, it makes me pause and hold on to the tidy simplicity while I can.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: Kohlrabi, radish, turnips, leeks, potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, beets, parsnips, celeriac, dried sage, wheat berries, whole wheat flour, dry beans, corn meal, and buckwheat shoots. More sunflower shoots to come.
In the meat share: All cuts of pork and beef, half and whole broiler chickens in the freezer. Lard and leaf lard are available.
- Full and By Farm: Fuzzy Winter Horses (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Sprouts (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Frozen on the Farm (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)