News from the farm, Monday October 26th

This week on the farm, we finally finished weeding the strawberries and transplanting the daughter plants to new beds. Our crew – including four volunteers from Trader Joe’s – brought the effort to its culmination with lots of energy and song. We have five beds now, all planted, mulched and well-organized for next season.

Julie and Nora continued on with posting and emailing out daily video tips for the NOFA/Mass Human Health and Climate Action Challenge this week, and Julie has really been enjoying the great response. She’s hearing from a lot of folks that they’re enjoying and looking forward to the tips, has received an invite to speak on a panel, and the donations keep coming in! As of this morning, we’ve raised 85% of Jack and Julie’s goal, with six fundraising days left. If you are able to chip in a donation of any amount, please do so via Jack and Julie’s fundraising page (or mail your check made out to NOFA/Mass to Julie and Jack, 411 Sheldon Road, Barre, MA 01005). If you are among the donors who have already given, Julie sends her heartfelt gratitude to you!

In staff news, Anthony Brogno completed his first week with us. Previously the farm manager at Earthlands, Anthony has come to us to help with our crops and manage firewood production. Julie says “He is a super addition to the farm”. We also enjoyed a visit from Mario Mendes (a many year staff member who came up through Stetson) on Wednesday. Mario is not yet sure that he’ll return, but Julie loved seeing him, regardless. Jack and Julie’s nephew, Andrew, also came out and worked all day Tuesday, and is planning to come out more regularly. Our WWOOFing season is coming to a close, and Gavin has departed for his next adventure after giving a very sweet and heartfelt speech about his time on the farm, complete with a musical interlude. He is a sweet and amazing guy, and Jack and Julie wish him well! Davida will be staying on a bit longer, and is bunking with Cathleen and Chuk.

An update on Jack: he did not get his knee replacement on Friday as scheduled, owing to a low hematocrit level in his blood. Jack will be taking more tests, but suspects the problem can be solved by adjusting his diet with this in mind – he and Julie will be eating a lot of liver in the coming weeks, and Jack will be taking a supplement with turmeric and ginger. The hope is to proceed with the surgery as soon as possible. Thank you to those who wrote in with good wishes and thoughts about him. Jack appreciated it very much.