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March News from the Farm

Planning to join the CSA this year, but just haven’t gotten around to it? I am confident that our food will be even better tasting this year than last. We have the farm staff from heaven on board this year, are cutting back by ¼ of our space – putting it in full-time cover crops – and are super organized for mulching, inter -sowing, and following very careful rotations of appropriately widely spaced crops. Please make your financial commitment today so we can keep the income flowing as we gear up.  CSA runs from June 2 – October 31.  More details here. And for our 2014 meat offerings, check here. Additionally, we are selling soup hens along with our meat birds this year in July and October and you can pre-order them. Check out this opportunity on the meat page. March will see a lot of fruit tree pruning, some seed starting, rebuilding and filling of our worm bins, and early harvests of hoop house crops (if the weather succeeds in warming up).
Climate change is on my mind as I go to bed at night and when I wake up this morning. I am in the enviable role of Executive Director of NOFA/Mass where I can guide a lot of our organizational work. This year has to include a major focus on carbon sequestration through appropriate agronomic practices. Keep your eye on the NOFA/Mass website and hopefully the next The Natural Farmer, on this topic. The Center for Food Safety has a very well-written publication at “Food and Climate: Connecting the Dots – Choosing the Way Forward.” And here are some good links to videos for you to watch and learn from –

Soil Carbon Challenge
Tony Lovell Ted Talk
Graeme Sait Ted Talk
Allan Savory Ted Talk

Don’t lose hope or hide your head in the sand – build organic matter and humus. That can be as simple as starting a compost pile or turning your front lawn into a food producing haven for beneficials. Yesterday Jack and I were lucky enough to hear Fred Kirschenmann at the CT NOFA conference. He says it is, to coin the words of Thomas Barry, “a moment of grace”. It includes a partnership between farmers and consumers, and it includes us putting our energy toward bringing the carbon back from the atmosphere and putting it back into the soil. Stay tuned for future tirades!

Here is the update on what we have for sale at Many Hands:

  • Half hams – 4-6 lbs at $13/lb – smoked and cured at VT Smoke and Cure in northern VT, these hams are delectable as a fancy meal, or cooked and served and then turning up again in ham sandwiches, and ham and bean soups.
  • And we are opening up bacon sales for a little bit - $13/lb and handled the same way as the hams.
  • Ground beef, stew beef from Butch and Spike – delectable grass and sprout fed beef that is top of the line - $8/lb
  • We also have some steaks – NY sirloin at $14/lb
  • Eggs - $7.00/dozen – try these and you will never go back. They love their sprouts, certified organic grain, kelp, oyster shell, and kitchen scraps and you will love the beautiful orange yolks that stand up tall when you crack them open.
  • Comfrey salve from this giant of a healing plant will do the trick on dry hands, cuts and scrapes and rashes - $8/jar
  • Fantastic lard/tallow soap – both lavender and pepper mint – that lasts a very long time and is super hypoallergenic - $6/bar
  • Lard is sold out for the season – sorry.  
  • Frozen Beef and pork stocks -  $7.50/quart – thick, rich and loaded with vitamins and minerals
  • Frozen applesauce/with Cinnamon - $5/quart – delectable and chunky

Time to clean out the old liver! – join me as I work with daughter Ellen to get the body tuned up and ready to work on the farm
Spring Rejuvenation Cleanse with Ellen - Begins March 10th
Would you like to:
- lose some weight, say goodbye to your cravings, have more energy, and feel fit?
- clear up long-standing sinus issues, and chronic congestion?
- have a peaceful and refreshing night of sleep?
- gain clearer thinking throughout the day?
- have glowing, soft skin that makes you look years younger?
- identify hidden food allergies that are impacting your health?
Or, have you always wanted to do a cleanse but feel you need the support of others to be successful?
Early spring is the perfect time to engage in a supportive Cleanse for the body. If you are curious as to whether your body may be showing signs of the normal internal spring cleansing that we each go through...check out this article.
It becomes more and more apparent all the time of the need to take opportunities to eliminate toxic foods from our bodies. Please enjoy this recent article which will help to bring light to why an elimination diet like that in the Cleanse can be so vital to good health and longevity.

Here's some idea of what the Cleanse can offer YOU:
“I lost about 10 pounds and it has stayed off.”
This Cleanse was a life changing event for me…I experienced: increased energy, better focus, quicker and deeper sleep, improved skin, and I lost five pounds.”
“The changes are profound and lasting. I have a new relationship with food--more respectful, more loving, and lighter and easier.”
“I found that when I eat the right foods I don't suffer with reflux or indigestion. And my food cravings got much better.
Cleanse begins March 10th. Spots are limited, so register today.
Ellen Kittredge, CHC
Ellen's Nutrition Counseling, Inc.
(202) 577-1940

Spring Rejuvenation Cleanse begins March 10. "This is the best nutritional program I've seen in the 22 years I've been exploring nutrition for my health." - past cleanser

"No foods are forbidden except when your body tells you so." - Lima Ohsawa

We are looking for a medium to large mutt puppy. Jimbo is holding out, now at 15, but doesn’t do much running at night when we need him to help Franny keep the myriad critters at bay. If you know of such a mutt puppy that is looking for a good farm, let us know. Dogs live the life of Riley here.
And another cat to spoil – any kittens expected out there?
This month’s health tip. Jason, Clare and Kathleen and I came back from the Graeme Sait event all jazzed up about chia seeds. As one who always goes whole hog, I bought 25 lbs from Living Earth. If you are in the neighborhood and want some, they are $8.55/lb.
This from  Not only are they gluten/grain free naturally, but one tablespoon of chia seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than Salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries. Perfect? Almost… they do get stuck in your teeth if you chew them plain (ask me how I know that!).

They also give you tons of energy but also won’t keep you awake at night and are supposed to be great for weight loss. Because they can absorb many times their size/weight in liquid, they are great for preventing dehydration during exercise or exposure to heat.

Supposedly, the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans used chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance while running long distances or during battle.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs they contain “Essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, 30% protein, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, silicon, and anti-oxidants.”

Additionally, “they are currently being used for their nutritional and medicinal properties, endurance for athletes, for suppressing the appetite, weight loss, leveling blood sugar, and for aiding intestinal regularity. Chia seeds readily dissolve into the water, creating a substance that looks like gelatin. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed. Researchers believe that this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when Chia seed is consumed, thus creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes and slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar helps with endurance and metabolic rates, which is beneficial for athletes and others”.

“For weight loss, Chia seeds are an appetite suppressant, and Chia gel may be used to replace food within recipes. Bulking up a meal with Chia gel helps lessen the amount of food consumed, since Chia gel is primarily made up of water. Chia gel may also be used in place of fats within recipes, even within baked goods. Chia seed has hydrophilic properties, and can absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water. Because of this, Chia seeds can prolong hydration, helping retain moisture and regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids, including electrolyte balance.”
Questions or comments about anything in this newsletter – contact me at; 978-355-2853.