Essex Column

The Adirondack Art Association’s first show of the year opens on May 31 at the gallery in the former firehouse in the heart of downtown Essex. The association welcomes local artists and does not jury your work. In other words, they don’t judge the artistic quality of submissions, which is an excellent way for new artists to start showing and perhaps selling. You do have to be a legal resident or property owner in Essex County to exhibit. Check out their website for more details.

This Saturday afternoon the CATS crew will be working on the Black Kettle Farm trail. If you’d like to join them, meet at the farm at 12:30 p.m. By the way, our dog Ginny goes on lots of CATS hikes with us and always brings home a few deer ticks. Ticks are at their most active now and in the fall, with a bit of a lull in mid-summer.

Saturday evening, the Whallonsburg Grange will host a country and blues band called “Field Trip.” They don’t have a drummer, but they do have an accordion player who at one time was a member of the Portland, Oregon symphony orchestra. Also appearing will be the aptly named Collin J. Rocker, a blues musician who sounds like John Prine and Tom Waits. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $12.

Here in the remote western section of town, Jersey Street, once a scenic but boring byway is coming to life with new enterprises. The barn on the former Charley Gay farm is now gone with a new one under construction, fields that have been fallow for years are getting plowed, good looking draft horses are grazing and we even have a chain saw sculptor. It’s wonderful to see all this new activity.

Of the many stresses farmers endure, dealing with employees ranks near the top of the list. When your workers are men and women in their twenties, as is typical around here, it’s inevitable that romances will blossom and just as inevitably fade. This leads to emotional turmoil and reduced productivity, but of course is difficult to prevent. A nearby vegetable grower had his best year ever when he hired an all woman crew for the summer and suffered no problems with lovelorn workers.

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