Before writing this column, Ginny and I usually take an early Sunday morning drive through the hamlet to see if anything is going on and to inspect the community bulletin board by the post office. At home, I check the Grange’s website and look at essexnewyork.org for town hall activities. This morning, I was surprised to see that essexnewyork.org is now a commercial site offering beach condos and waterfront property. The site has a dreamy depiction of Essex in the distant future, with lots of palm trees, cabanas and the Green Mountains off in the distance.
This Friday evening the Grange celebrates Women’s History Month with songs and stories by singer-songwriter Peggy Lynn and author Sandra Weber. The show starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $8.
This most recent snow storm brought wild turkeys to our yard, where they scratch and peck at a patch of wind-swept lawn. Although it’s not recommended except when the snow is really deep, I’ve been putting out cracked corn for them. Crows, ravens, jays and even the odd gray squirrel stop by to grab a bite, which leads to inter-species skirmishing and squabbling. The turkeys usually dominate, and when they’ve had their fill, they leave slowly and solemnly, in single file, occasionally tripping in the deep snow.
It’s almost time to get out pruning saws and loppers. You can take on apple trees, shrubs, and other trees now, although it’s a little better to wait until just before buds open. Saws and pruners can pick up disease organisms, which you don’t want to transfer to other trees. To be especially vigilant, make up a mild bleach solution and spray your tools after each cut.
I’ve been watching trends in farming and notice that in Clinton County, there are almost no large vegetable operations like we have here in Essex County, but they do have huge dairy farms. Along with a large egg producer, the dairies are competing for farm land, even buying and clearing wooded land. Good crop land near Plattsburgh is going for $5,000 an acre or more, and even here in Reber a buyer paid $2,000 an acre for 40 acres of trees, wetland and some open land. However, this parcel has a million dollar view of the lovely Reber Valley and rugged Adirondacks.