Shortage of kale seed | Essex Column

The regular monthly meetings of the Essex Town Board are now on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.

Every Tuesday evening at St. John’s Episcopal Church there is a community pot-luck supper, which starts at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to serve six others or so and meet your neighbors. Yes, even Willsboro residents are welcome.

We have a diesel tractor used to clear snow that is most unwilling to start in this very cold weather. Ours has a block heater which warms the engine core, but recently even that hasn’t been enough to get it to run. The fuel pump is not heated, so I borrowed Amy’s hair dryer the other day, blew hot air on the pump for about 20 minutes and opened a couple of valves to let air out of the fuel line. After silently beseeching the tractor gods, I turned the key, fuel flowed and the engine roared to life. The hair dryer caught a good squirt of fuel before I could shut the valves, causing a cloud of smoke and the demise of the dryer. It turns out hair dryers are rather inexpensive and now I have my own dedicated to garage use.

At Juniper Hill Farm, it’s seed buying time, and there’s a drastic shortage of kale seed on the market. This rough green is currently the darling of hipsters and their chefs, renowned for its vitamin content, cancer reducing compounds and versatility in salads and soups. To me, the flavor is utterly awful and the texture coarse and fibrous. It gets stuck in your teeth and it’s uncivilized. This fad will run its course, hipsters will find the next hot vegetable and I’ll content myself with good old spinach.

This morning I spied a trio of male bluebirds inspecting my nesting boxes. They are out looking for places to nest this coming spring, although what they feed on this time of year is a mystery. In other bird news, I saw a young bald eagle recently flying over the lake just off from the hamlet. The ducks by the ferry dock ignored him but I bet they were keeping a close watch nevertheless.

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