Dear 2018 CSA Members,
In case you wonder how we spend our days (and nights) around here, I have a cow and pig tale to share with you. Last night we went to visit son Dan and friend Lisa and her son Sam last night in Phillipston and had a very nice time indeed. We arrived home at 9:15 to two phone messages from our neighbors who live right at the top of our field across the street. The cows and the pigs had been out and visiting them while we were out, it seems. So Jack and I walked out to find the cows by the barn and thus ensued a 2 hour chase around the farm and up and down the road. Dan, Lisa and Sam were able to show up around 10:30 to help and with the extra hands we were able to gather up the now very tired cows and pen them back into their electric fenced area. They thanked us for the wild time, I swear cows just get bored from time to time and have to go see the world, and all was well this morning and they were out munching grass contentedly. Our neighbor had mentioned that the pigs had been up to visit also and that for part of the time the cows had been chasing the pigs. Well, we found only 4 of the 5 pigs back home last night (young pigs will slip out under the electric wire when they are young and adventurous), but we went to bed. Luckily there were 5 in their beds this morning, and all’s well that ends well. There is something very satisfying about chasing animals in the dark with family members – a wonderful bonding experience that perhaps non-farmers just never will have. And neighbor Chris called up this morning laughing about how much fun she and her husband had attempting to get them back in while we were gone.
During the days we are hustling as fast as we can to prepare no till beds (a lot of hoeing and prepping), plant, and then mulch, if we have time, or weed earlier plantings that need to be weeded. We foliar feed all of our annuls and perennials, pick up whey for our pigs, mow the encroaching grasses where we can, and start new sets of seedlings – particularly lettuce. Each week we only complete a portion of the hopeful work, but redouble our efforts each week in hopes that we can someday catch up. Such is the reality of the price of labor, the price of food, and nature’s bounty this time of year. But we did get the tomatoes planted this week, more sweet potatoes and some squash. We weeded and mulched most of the chives, with chips, and also the oregano and some of the rhubarb.
Food this week
- Lettuce – we have some really fine lettuce out there – larges will get 6 heads and mediums 3. This may seem like a lot of lettuce, but it is “covering” for the other vegetables which aren’t in abundance yet. Enjoy your salads – see below for our favorite house salad.
- Rhubarb – you can enjoy this “old fashioned” perennial vegetable thus- cut it up and throw it in a saucepan with some honey and cook it down for about 5 minutes – serve warm or refrigerate it and eat it cold Larges will receive 1 lb and mediums ½ lb.
- Chinese cabbage – new this week – these Asian beauties are great lightly steamed or used in soups. They add a lot of nice volume to your greens
- Chives –another perennial – treat these like onions and yes, you can eat the beautiful and tangy flowers. Just chop them fine for salad, stir fry, casserole or soup. After this week the chives will take a break to grow back. By the end of the week we will have it all weeded (we have some pernicious perennial weeds taking hold in our chives) and will grow back for more onion essence later.
- Beets and greens from the greenhouse – use the whole plant for a wonderful taste and tonic for your liver. We will be emptying out the hoop houses this week, so this will be the last beet week until the field grown beets come in. The hoop houses will hopefully sport tomatoes and melons by week’s end.
- Kale – beautiful from the hoop house; also a close out, but our field supply is ready to take over
- Green onions – we have a very strong and beautiful crop of these this year – use the entire plant (aside from the roots) in anything where you enjoy onions
- Spearmint – new this week – this is also highly challenged by perennial grasses so we will weed as we go and hopefully have this bed of refreshing herbs cleaned up and thriving by the end of two weeks.
MHOF House Salad dressing
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1 cup vinegar
- A couple of squirts of ketchup
- A dollop of honey
- Teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, paprika and dry mustard
Shake it all up and enjoy on your salad.
Would you like a dozen eggs in your share each week? They cost $7/dozen – are certified organic, free range and the very best. Right now they are getting their organic grain soaked in whey. Let me know and we will set you up with weekly eggs. The price for getting eggs starting this week is $147.
Newsletter responses this week
Please add my beautiful girlfriend Christiana (cc’d on this email) to our weekly email list when you get a chance – Thanks!
We just picked up our first share today and we’re super excited about it! We know that this is going to challenge us to expand both our palette and our recipe book! This is a huge part of us developing healthier eating habits which is important to us for many reasons, but mostly because we want to pass them down to our newborn daughter!
All the best,
“Thank you so much Julie! It was so beautiful this weeks share . I went to the old place but my friend Rich Perna brought mine home. The produce was amazing and fresh. The only thing I did not use was the radish as it was somehow bad but the rest was great .
Thank you so much for everything
We can use your recycled plastic grocer y size bags
Yes, just leave them in your share bag – don’t forget to return it this week, and we will use them for packing vegetables. We can reuse the rubber bands too!
Still taking members
After next week the price will go down each week (by $30 for larges and $20 for mediums), and it will be updated on the website – www.mhof.net/csa.
Check out our Facebook at this address https://www.facebook.com/manyhandsorganicfarm… You can like us, refer us and also write a review if you enjoy what you are receiving. That all helps get the word out for our farm. Thanks for what many of you have already done to help us get the word out.
We are also on Instagram at Many Hands Organic Farm. Clare and Lisa post pictures there all of the time. @manyhandsorganic
NOFA Summer Conference
In your bag, if I remember!, will be a post card about the NOFA Summer Conference. Check out this wonderful weekend for those who love to eat, grow, or advocate around organic food and farming, and environmental health Check it out here – http://nofasummerconference.org/. Jack and I organized this conference for 24 years and raised our kids on it. You will meet like minded and truly positive spirited change-makers and practical people at this event.
Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge
For The Many Hands Organic Farm staff