Don’t Forget to Look at the Sky at Dawn and Dusk – News From The Farm, December 14th

The Sunrise at Many Hands Organic Farm this December


Dear Friends and Customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,

Communications Director(s) Hired
Thanks for many candidates applying for our communications position. We are happy to welcome two of our present staff members – Ari Nicholson and Maya Egan. Ari has been a shareholder of ours for three seasons and started the 2020 season as a working shareholder. I quickly hired Ari as they are good (and fast) at almost everything. They brought Maya along who also excels at a variety of farm tasks. They are both students at Clark, and among other things, deliver shares. We all feel very blessed to have them on our staff in this increased capacity.

Sign up for the 2021 CSA
Expenses stay swift on the farm. Our hardworking staff members are scurrying each week to put the farm to bed, and plan for next year, including organizing our barns and sheds, bringing in wood, processing lard and soup stocks and developing more supplies of soaps and salves. Seeds and tubers and supplies need to be bought, fertility materials, pork, chicken and turkey deposits to suppliers – the list goes on. Your early commitment to the CSA with money up front helps us keep our income more consistent with our outgo. Thanks!

Products available now – Do your Christmas shopping with us as a few folks did last week!

  • Spinach- $10/1 lb. bag
  • Lettuce Mix- $10/1 lb. bag
  • Arugula- $10/1 lb. bag
  • Mustard greens- $10/1 lb. bag

Deadline for ordering the 4 aforementioned vegetables is by Wednesday at 8 am.

  • Ground pork in 1 lb. packages – $10/lb.
  • Lard – $20/quart
  • Pork stock – $7.50/quart
  • Eggs – $8/dozen
  • Comfrey salve – $8/2 oz.
  • Hemp salve – $10/2 oz.
  • Garlic powder – $10/2 oz.
  • Lavender soap – $6/5 oz. bar
  • Peppermint soap – $6/5 oz. bar
  • Dandelion tincture – $6/2 oz. bottle
  • Yellow dock tincture – $6/2 oz. bottle
  • Frozen applesauce – $6/quart

Make arrangements to pick up at the farm or we can ship some things to you. Call at 978-355-3853 or email

Julie explains the process of making lard. Check out the video on our Instagram.

Accomplishments on the farm last week
We spread about 12 tons of rock dust. We had a moment of truth with a particularly large load when the tractor went up on one of its back tires. Anthony quickly lowered the tractor bucket and Dave Petrovick came over quickly and helped us realize that the lug nuts on that tire were loose! Whew. Anyway, all of the veg and fruit areas are well mineralized. We will probably put the remaining 10 tons on the hay fields.

Every day we spend a little time cleaning and organizing the barn. It is looking spiffy, but not done yet. And we cleaned the loft of the tool shed too.

Cutting and splitting of the wood supply for the farm proceeds every afternoon. Wood sheds are filling up.

Weeding in the hoop houses is slow, but proceeding.

Clare and I met with our AEA fertility consultant this week and placed our order for 2021’s liquid mineral mixes.

Ari and Maya have left for two months and will return in February. Lindsy drove back to Wisconsin on Sunday. She may return next summer. And Cathleen is taking off through January.

Anthony, Julie, Claire, Ari, and Lindsy after a particularly dusty session of rock dust spreading.

Looking Ahead
Starting this week we go down to 3 days per week – M, Th, F. It is me, Anthony and Clare, with Stu still hanging in there as a working shareholder on Friday mornings. After we went around the table and told Lindsy all the nice things we feel about her at lunch Friday, Stu remarked that he won’t be quitting, because he wouldn’t be able to accept all that praise at his farewell lunch!
This week we hope to get the strawberries covered for winter and also spread mulch on the veg beds that are sparse of cover. That along with some more pork stock, barn cleaning, seed ordering and website updates, and wood splitting should round out the week.

What we can use here
We are especially looking for clean brown cardboard right now, to put under our trees before mulching them with wood chips. Thanks to whomever dropped some off on our front porch on Saturday!

What I learned this week
2019 Rodale Organic Pioneer Awards speech by Zach Bush –
Gabe Brown Keynote for Farming for the Future 2020, Michigan –
Soul and Soil – Farming While Black with Leah Penniman –
Biological Pathways to Carbon Rich Soil with Dr. Christine Jones (she is my hero and a good friend)
Lots more time to listen while doing exercises this time of year!

Good Quotes
“Seek first to understand and then seek to be understood” – a nice quote I heard this week

Today’s Health Tip
I can’t say enough for the power of mushrooms and how they seem to support the immune system, clean out the smudge generally in the system and provide more energy all day long. This may seem coming up like a long term advertisement for Fungi Perfecti – and owner Paul Stamets (we had him as our keynoter for the 2007 NOFA Summer Conference), but we have been doing a lot of cool things to help Jack with his health issues this year, and I think these mushrooms are among the top candidates, plus I have lost significant weight and gained significant mental clarity. Let’s start with Chaga – according to Stamets it is good for antioxidant and DNA support, Blood sugar support, breathing, digestion and microbiome, energy and stamina, immune response, liver and detox support, performance and recovery.