March 2020 MHOF Newsletter
Dear Friends – a special plea,
Kalina, the little 8 year old who last week was quoted as wanting salad because it was Julie’s salad is in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit with a yet to be totally confirmed disease. Please send her and her family you best prayers, energies and healing wishes.
News from the Farm
Here, at the beginning of spring, the ground is slightly spongy underfoot in some places, thick with mud in others. The winter-killed crop residue has mingled with fallen leaves and formed a thick mat over the thawing soil beneath. The stalks of last season’s kale jut up, tall and dry with a tuft of browned curly leaves on top. Between the gusts of wind, birdsong.
In March we focus on pruning, starting with the fruit trees on the hill – peaches, apples, plums, pears and mulberries – making strategic cuts to allow for movement of air and sunlight, to balance the proportion of fruiting wood to vegetative growth, to grow bigger and better fruit. Julie took a jarring fall off a ladder while pruning and participating on a conference call simultaneously. I saw her the next day. She was sore and moving slowly…and laughed about it all the same, telling me that she finished the call while lying on the ground.
Caring for our hoophouse greens is also a regular feature of the week’s work. In addition to weeding, we nourish the plants through regular foliar feeding. Our mix is a blend of several products from Advancing Eco Agriculture. It supplies a number of minerals needed for good plant growth, nutrients to help the plants maximize their photosynthetic capacity, and fungal and bacterial inoculants. Directly applying these nutrients to the leaves is an efficient way to nourish the plants. As the plants grow big, fast and deep-rooted, their photosynthesis nourishes the soil: bringing in nutrients, supporting microbial activity, strengthening the network of mycorrhizal fungi and pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the soil. Have we mentioned that the plants taste great and are chock-full of nutrients, too? It’s a true win-win for everyone…which is why weekly foliar feeding of our veggie and fruit crops is a practice throughout the growing season.
Soon, the first veggies destined for the summer share – beets, cilantro and lettuce – will go in the ground. We also have a lot of good stuff on hand to enjoy now. Read on for information about our summer and fall vegetable shares and our other Many Hands-grown (and made) goodies available for purchase.
Yours, in joyous anticipation of longer days, fresh spring salad greens and peach blossom,
We’re looking for donations of cardboard to use in mulching our fruit trees and small fruits. Cardboard should be brown, tape-free, and flattened. Get in touch with Julie if you have some to give! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-355-2853
2020 Vegetable Share
Enjoy 22 weeks of produce from June – October with our summer share. Choose from three sizes: large, medium and small.
Fall shares provide 4 more weeks during the month of November and come in one size.
Pick up in Worcester, Paxton, Holden, Princeton (NEW site for 2020) or Barre. Pay by check, PayPal or SNAP benefits, or become a working shareholder. HIP benefits became available again on March 6, 2020. If you’d like to pay using SNAP benefits, get in touch – we can process in person or over the phone.
Whichever option you choose, you will receive a bountiful summer of beautiful, nutrient-dense, Certified Organic produce that will nourish your body, grown with practices that sustain and regenerate the land.
Frozen applesauce: $6/quart
Frozen peaches: $12 for a 2 lb. bag
Frozen lard: $20/quart. We will ship.
Frozen pork ribs, roasts and chops: $10/lb
Frozen turkey: a 21# bird at $6/lb
Frozen pork stock: $7.50/quart
Comfrey salve :$8 for a 2 oz jar. We will ship.
Peppermint and lavender soap – $6/bar. We will ship. Made from our own lard and tallow.
Order by email or phone:
“Thank you, Jack and your team for all your hard work and your committment to being organic and sustainable as well as carbon sequestration. It mirrors my values and is a few of the reasons why I enjoy supporting Many Hands”. – from Jackie, 2019 CSA member