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Essex Column

The spring barn dance at Black Kettle Farm will be this Saturday evening starting at 5:30 p.m. with the traditional chili dinner, which is still only $5. The band starts to play at 6:30 p.m. just for kids to dance, and at 7 p.m. the floor opens to all. There will also be a silent auction, all in benefit of Lakeside School. A donation of $10 is suggested. Black Kettle is at the corner of Cook and Leaning Roads, just up the hill from Whallonsburg.

In downtown Essex, the former Rudder Club restaurant is opening this week as Chez Lin and Rays, and it’s rumored the deli just up from the marina will be opening soon. The Old Dock has been up and running for several weeks now. By the way, chez, pronounced shay, is French for with, at or among. In other downtown news, the ditches along Beggs Point Street are filled in and seeded, and the county is waiting for permits needed to complete the storm drain project.

On the vegetable farm, I’ve been cultivating the newly emerged plantings. This is an organic farm and no herbicides, convenient though they may be, are ever used. Organic growers can control weeds with mulch, cultivation, or the costliest, hand weeding. The small plants I’m working on now demand careful attention, requiring a slower than crawling pace with the tractor to keep the tiller from throwing soil and smothering the young plants. This is tedious work, and no day dreaming is allowed. However, with the diesel engine providing a background hum and a little warm sunshine, it’s easy to lose one’s focus and start thinking about, say, lunch. As your mind wanders, so does the tractor, and your pleasant reverie ends with a start when you realize you’re slaying carrots and not weeds.

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