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January News from the Farm

My pen has been dry for a few months, but life has continued at a scurrying pace on the farm regardless. All the crops are in and the animals harvested for 2013. We are in the planning process now, gearing up for 2014 – ordering seeds, making budgets, dreaming of weed-free beds of perfect vegetables and bounteous fruits, fat and sassy pigs, resource producing chickens and handsome turkeys. You can now go to the website and place orders for 2014 offerings at www.mhof.net.
 

Here are some changes and non-changes for 2014:
 
Changes
 
CSA
We have reorganized our CSA somewhat for 2014.

  • We will be discontinuing the spring and fall shares, the juicing share and the flower share.
  • We will have a large share and a medium share that will run for 22 weeks instead of the previous 20 weeks. The season will run from June 2 – October 31.
  • The shares will include fruit in season as available. Last year fruit offerings included apples, peaches, and pears.
  • We will have pick up locations in Worcester – Living Earth on Mondays; Holden - St. Francis Church on Wednesdays and a shareholders barn in the center of Holden on Fridays. We will be discontinuing our Dorchester and Fitchburg deliveries. We will continue to have pick ups at the farm in Barre on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • The total price for large shares is $616 or approximately $3.50/lb for an average 8 lbs/week of produce.
  • The price for medium shares is $396 or approximately $4/lb for an average 4.5 lbs/week of produce.

Beef
We are sadly discontinuing beef as we can’t make the numbers work.
 
Eggs
Egg prices will be $7/dozen.
 
Staying the same
 
Meat chickens – Price and availability stay the same. We will raise 500 birds split between two slaughter dates of late July and mid-late October. Slaughter dates to be confirmed well in advance. $5.75/lb for less than 10 birds. $6.25/lb for 10 or more birds. The new news here is that we will be supporting a young entrepreneur as his first clients in his USDA approved mobile processing unit. He will bring it to our farm and we can compost the offal at the end – more humane for the birds, a good reuse of resources, and we get to support a young businessperson.
 
Turkeys – Price and availability stay the same. We will raise 100 turkeys for sale the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at the price of $5.50/lb.
 
Pork – We will raise 13 pigs and sell at the same prices as last year – see list on meat page. Lard prices will also stay the same.
 
Available now at the farm – and we will have a table at the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference also:

  • Pork – ribs at $8.25/lb and hams at $13/lb
  • Beef – ground and stew beef at $8/lb, rib eye steak at $12/lb, NY Sirloin at $14/lb
  • Lard - $20/quart
  • Eggs - $7/dozen
  • Applesauce – frozen in quarts - $5
  • Comfrey salve - $8/jar
  • Peppermint and Lavender soap - $6/bar
  • Garlic powder- $15/jar


Many important NOFA/Mass offerings coming right up
 
NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
January 11, 2014 
Worcester State University, Worcester, MA 

For registration info and more, visit http://www.nofamass.org/winterconference

Mark Shepard, perennial agriculture and permaculture design expert, offers this year's keynote and all-day seminar.  Join NOFA/Mass for over 60 workshops, NOFA's Annual Lawn & Turf Course, dozens of exhibitors & vendors, a children's program, film series, post-conference dinner with Mark Shepard and much more.
 
See the program book here.  Jack and Julie will be doing a workshop on raising organic livestock and the importance of using GMO-free feeds to do so.

Perhaps you'll consider sticking around for a reasonably priced, post-conference dinner with Mark Shepard to support NOFA/Mass and for a chance to continue to connect with others at the conference. 

NOFA Bulk Order – available to order during the month of January
For gardeners and farmers alike, participate in the NOFA bulk order to find fertility and other resources including tubers and alliums at reasonable cooperative prices.  Click here for more information.
 

Soil and Nutrition Conference
For you fertility and human nutrition folks -
Among the terrific learning opportunities this winter, I'm really looking forward to Graeme Sait's 3-day presentation in Somerville February 2-4. 

Graeme Sait (Nutri-Tech Solutions, Australia) has been a leader in the global sustainable agriculture movement and this will be the first time he'll be presenting in the Northeast.  We convinced him to slide us into his schedule while in North America (between workshops in Ontario, Mexico City, and Los Angeles).  Click here for more information.
 
These soil and nutrition conferences are where I really hone my knowledge to bring you food that is as nutritiously vitamin and mineral packed and tasty as possible.
 
Enjoy the winter!                               
Julie