January News

January 22, 2018

Dear MHOF Friends,

As we finish the first month of winter, those of us who prefer to be outside in the soil and the sun, barefoot and enjoying the warm breezes breathe a little easier knowing that spring can’t be that far away! I always of course try to make the most of winter, enjoying the fact that I am not generally overworked, and I have time for contemplation and study, but let’s face it – nothing beats weeding a row of tiny carrots in the early evening in July.

Jack and I are filling up our calendars with some fun talks this winter. We did one on fruit at the NOFA/Mass winter conference and look forward to speaking in Wendell on February 9, NOFA-RI on March 4, CT NOFA on March 10, a talk at the Athol library  in April, and keynoting for the CT RC and D Soil Health workshop on April 26. At these workshops we often learn more than we teach, and the learning community of farmers who are ever trying to improve our craft, our soil, the environment and our bottom line is quite stimulating.

2018 MHOF CSA is ready to take your order.

It is all there at https://mhof.net/. The prices are the same, the weeks are the same – starting the first week in June and ending in the end of November with the end of the fall share, and you can pick up in the same places – Barre, Worcester and Holden. If you sign up now and put some money down it helps us with this time of year where the bills seem incessant (insurance bill of $1197 and liquid fertility bill of $1248 this week, for instance) and the income is sparse. We have some of the best food around with generous quantities too. One shareholder was heard to say that he goes on the Many Hands diet each summer! And once you join I will proselytize unceasingly about the benefits of good diet for health!

We are in our second year of partnering with the Healthy Incentives Program through SNAP. SNAP customers can get the CSA taken right out of their benefits each month, and also get money put back in for other vegetable purchases. This year as last,  you don’t have to pick up here, but can also pick up in Worcester or Holden. Check the website or give us a call at 978-355-2853.

The Meat pages are up too – https://mhof.net/organic-meat/

 Order chicken, turkey, beef and pork for 2018 now while supplies last and we will remind you at the appropriate time when pick up is. As always you can count on our meat to be clean, as grass-fed as possible and super nutritious.

Available now at the farm

  • Pork from 2017 supplies – breakfast sausage, ground pork, roasts and ribs – all at $9.50/lb. Quarts of pork stock at $7.50/quart
  • Chicken – we have a handful of frozen chickens left – 5-7 lbs. $6.50/lb. And chicken stock in good supply from our old layers – with chicken in it. All of our stocks are frozen – $7.50/quart
  • Lard – $20/quart at the farm or order it online here – https://mhof.net/organic-meat/
  • Garlic powder – $5/oz.
  • Soap – peppermint and lavender – $6/ 5 oz. bar
  • Comfrey Salve – $8/2 oz.
  • Eggs – $7/dozen

Bulk order

If you are a gardener or farmer, now is the time to order all sorts of things like soil amendments, supplies, seed potatoes and onions, etc. The order deadline is January 31 and the first delivery and pick up is March 13-17 with tubers coming in April. Here is the link – https://www.nofamass.org/bulk-order-program

Carbon sequestering Garden

NOFA/Mass has a new wonderful publication written by Allison Houghton, one of our staff members. You can access the Carbon Sequestering Garden here – https://www.nofamass.org/sites/default/files/The-Carbon-Sequestering-Garden.pdf

Johnson Su bioactivator

We will be building one of these fancy named, but very rudimentary compost systems this year – as soon as Jack can get his hands on some concrete mesh. You can read about this here. We hosted David and Hui –Chun here this past November. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxUGk161Ly8

We have been enjoying our winter schedule. We made a couple hundred quarts of chicken stock (no one will ever be sick here), are cleaning out lots of closets and cabinets on the most sub-zero days, are doing battle with our cows who like to flip their water dish (it does get boring out there for a cow), are well into our 100 fruit trees that need pruning, we have squandered all of our wood chips on many of those trees as mulch, and Brent is filling wood sheds in his spare time from trees in the wood lot. Clare cleaned up the website and is moving on to ordering seeds and filling out certification forms. And we did spend a fair amount of time picking up lots of wonderful freebies from Heifer Farm that closed down just recently.                                                               Julie