News from the farm, Monday October 5th


This week, the crew pulled out the last of the tomato plants from the hoophouses, making way for a planting of spinach. Great progess was made on weeding the strawberries and populating next year’s beds with daughter plants. The asparagus finally got its second weeding and has been well-mulched with wood chips. Among the folks who helped with the work this week were a few visitors who came to learn about carbon sequestration, all of whom have been moving in organic farming circles here in the northeast for many decades. Julie said, “it was interesting to talk with these folks who have been in the organic world for longer than I have – and we got some weeding out of them, too!”

The farm’s soil test has come back, and Julie is feeling pleased with it overall. When I spoke to her on Sunday she was already thinking about how to improve it for the future. “We need to add boron and manganese, which we will work on this fall. Our magnesium is a little low, our calcium and potassium is a little high – we want to keep those in balance.” Field organic matter, though, is looking really good – between 7.5-12 percent in the vegetable fields. Good, too, is the fact that we’ll have the money to purchase mineral amendments this fall thanks to a $5,000 payment we are expecting from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2. Julie says “We often don’t have money to pay for fall minerals, but this year I’ll be able to buy a load of basalt rock dust, which will help enhance the mineral profile of the soil. I’ll also be able to get about 20 loads of wood chips to have available for mulch next year”. 

The turkeys move across the street to West field this week – those hoping to visit these inquisitive, delightful birds are encouraged to look for them there. We have sold about half of our available inventory of birds and will be stepping up promotions this week – so if you want one, it really is time to put in your order!

What will Thanksgiving look like, this year? Julie is feeling some sadness thinking about it. “It’s been a tradition for 40 year for people to gather at our house. We usually serve 30-40 people. But I think a lot of them might not want to come this year. So we will plan to see how many relatives want to come out and fill the spots with people who want to gather but don’t have other places to celebrate”. She encourages you to think about how you might share a feast with your broader network (dinner delivery, perhaps)? Whatever your dinner plans are, do plan to boil down your bird’s carcass and meat into nutritious, tasty turkey broth. To make, put your bird in a pot with water, sea salt and a splash of vinegar (to extract minerals), then boil until the meat falls off the bones. Take out the bones and freeze by the quart with cooked meat still in it. You’ll have the base for delicious and healthful soups for the rest of the winter. Still looking for a turkey? We have a few left! Order here

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About MHOF

Many Hands Organic Farm has been in existence since 1982 and has been selling to the public since 1985. We were first certified organic by the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association in 1987.

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