CSA Week 14, September 3-7

CSA Week 14 – September 3, 4, 5, 7

Labor day news: Living Earth is closed on Labor Day next week. We will pick the CSA on Monday, September 3 so you Barre Folks can pick up that day if you want. We will deliver Worcester shares to Living Earth on Tuesday, September 4

Dear friends,

Living Earth is closed on Monday. You Monday Worcester folk can pick up at Living Earth on Tuesday. Barre shareholders can pick up here on Monday. We will have the shares ready by noon.

I started a newsletter last week but never got it finished. September is in some ways the busiest month for us here. Almost all of our staff has left. Luckily Mario comes on the weekends to help me with chores and today he is out picking peaches, pears, and tying tomatoes again in the hoop house. Lydia came to me a week ago and offered her services so she is helping on M, W, F mornings, the same schedule that Clare comes for. Josh is off on an adventure, Mario is at school, and so are Max and Ben. Brent is still here 40 hours per week and between all of us we patch it together. This long week end from Friday – Monday Brent is taking a needed vacation. Thanks to the Stetson volunteers that show up and our present working shareholders Kathleen, Raina and Anne, who come one each on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Brent and Lydia in the pepper patch

We had that crash on August 14, but things have been looking up since the rain stopped now almost a week ago. The peaches are no longer rotten, Friday will notice some great carrots that weren’t moldy, the lettuce is picking up, the tomatoes, though the plants succumbed a bit to early blight, are pumping out nicer crack free fruits. It is as if that 6 weeks of unrelenting rain was just a bad dream . . . .


Since the last newsletter we have had some great company. Mount Wachusett Community College brought their usual crowd of incoming students looking for service projects to help finish picking for the CSA, and then helping us with our massive onion harvest. All the onions made it into the barn, and Friday got some when the green beans ran out. The MWCC folks had such a good time that they will bring back a crew on October 26 for a work day. We will most likely plant our garlic that day. Congressman McGovern does a tour of farms in his district each August and this year we were picked. We had a wonderful visit and Jack and I were able to hold everyone’s attention while we talked about carbon sequestration through regenerative farming practices. McGovern wrote later, “…You have an amazing operation! I very much appreciate your commitment to organic farming and want to be wind at your backs. . . ..”. Then this past Tuesday Jack and I hosted an interview with the folks from NBC 10/NECN/Telemundo in Newton. They are doing a climate change and agriculture special on September 19. After standing in Tuesday’s heat for a couple of hours with our interview faces on we had them in for lunch. It was a great interview with some really intelligent folks. The interviewer, a meteorologist, was very thoughtful. I will let you know more about when it is airing when we get more on that.

Visiting the turkeys on a farm tour


Students from Mount Wachusett harvesting cucumbers







The crops really are “coming in” right now. With our lessened staff we are running speedily from crop to crop to get them all harvested in time, and on these very hot days, attempting to get it done before they are under stress. Clare and Brent and my management skills are pushed to new limits as we find creative things for everyone, including the kids from Stetson, to do, that can help with the overall goal of getting things picked and packed. I think back fondly on yesterday when Kirk (he reminds me it is like ‘Captain Kirk’), an inveterate pacer, and I were harvesting peppers. Getting him to stop and pick a ripe pepper on one of his many swings by in his pacing, was a creative challenge, of course accompanied by lots of stroking for a job well done. Kirk is just one example of a Stetson kid who I suspect has a really high IQ, but has not had such a good deal in life. He shared yesterday about how his mom is an alcoholic who does crack and a few other things and how he became a ward of the state at age 12. Yet his conversation  is full of all sorts of thoughtful questions and observations about how things work, how things grow, etc.

Cabbages, great to eat fresh, freeze, or make into sauerkraut

Food Preservation

I hope that you are doing some! This week we have available for larger purchases for preservation for the winter, the following items –

  • Tomatoes at $2/lb.
  • Cucumbers at $2/lb.
  • Kale at $2.50/lb.


Food this week

  • CSA
    • Cabbage or cauliflower or broccoli
    • Squash
    • Cukes
    • Brussels sprouts tops – we need to top them now to encourage the plants to make big sprouts – eat them as you would collards
    • Kale
    • leeks
    • Lettuce
    • Pears – wait for them to soften up a bit before you eat them
    • Grapes – for you locals, these are the earliest and nicest presenting grapes that live on our front deck
    • Tomatillos (husk cherries) if we have time – just pop them out of the husk and eat straight
    • Tomatoes
    • Arugula
    • A pepper each
    • Corn again – this week is Silver Queen, an old standby; last week was ‘Who Get’s kissed’ a new open pollinated variety that was developed by a friend of ours
    • cilantro

Beautiful pepper plants, we’ve been eating stuffed peppers for lunch these days

Now is a good time to sign up for the fall share

It runs the 4 Mondays in November and you can pick up here in Barre or at Living Earth or at Teresa Wolcott’s at 51 Boyden Road in Holden. The share costs $120 with an $8 delivery fee for the out of towners. More of the good stuff for another month. You can sign up here – https://mhof.net/2018-csa-share-options/

From the members

Thank you for another amazing week of produce. We actually took our share with us when we went away last week and ate tons of delicious veggies the whole time. Emily Angiullo

 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 for the summer share

Every week the price will go down each week (by $30 for larges and $20 for mediums), and it will be updated on the website – https://mhof.net/2018-csa-share-options/.      

 Other things for sale at MHOF right now

Frozen whole chickens – $6.50/lb.

Pork roasts – $9.50/lb.

Hot dogs – $12/lb.

Bacon – $14.25/lb.

Ground beef, stew beef and short ribs – $10/lb.

Rib eye steak and strip steak – $13/lb.

Brisket and chuck roast – $11/lb.

Sirloin steak – $15/lb.

Tenderloin steaks – $20/lb.

Comfrey salve – $8/2 oz. jar

Peppermint and lavender soap – $6/5 oz. bar

Garlic powder – $9.50 for 1.9 ounce

Lard – $20/quart

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 @manyhandsorganic. Clare and Lisa post pictures there all of the time.

It may be awhile before you hear from me again. I hope all is well for you in this time of transition.