Dear Friends and Customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,
Especially if you start the year on December 21, like I do, the promise of good things to come is well under way. December was a good time to take stock of successes, failures, observations, and questions that remain unanswered (in life itself and on the farm). And now that the sun is rising, there is a different energy, that of renewal, palpable in every (sunlight) increasing day.
Sign up for the 2021 CSA
We are grateful to the 9 families that have already signed up for the 2021 MHOF Summer CSA. I think if one more person were to take care of getting yourself signed up with a deposit or a full payment, we would be able to break even financially in 2020. If you are planning to subscribe and can do it before December 31, we would much appreciate it!
Products available now
- Ground pork in 1 lb. packages – $10/lb.
- Pork chops in close to 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@mhof.net
Accomplishments on the farm in the last two weeks
We had our first ever staff retreat preceded by 1 hour check ins with all of our staff. We are expecting a very strong year in 2021 with Clare returning for year 14, and Cathleen, Ari, Maya and Anthony for their second years. Lindsy might come back in the summer. New plans include an upgrade of our mushroom and our bee operations with Cathleen taking the reins, Maya spearheading more medicinal herb growing and an increased product line, and twice monthly donations to the Barre Food Bank, Clare and I were delighted to meet with Heron Breen of Fedco Seeds last week to get some advice on more seed saving and breeding. This year we will add to our existing protocols of saving winter squash, garlic, potatoes, peas, peppers and tomatoes at least pole beans and cucumbers. Seed sovereignty is an important topic and it allows growers the opportunity to start off with stronger and more vibrant seeds than are usually available from seed companies. We also will re-institute weekly farm walks and staff meetings to further our joint education on how to better farm and work more efficiently. All exciting stuff.
We also, around lots of snow, we able to complete the mulching of the 5 strawberry beds. And some real progress in weeding one of our two spinach hoop houses was accomplished. We started mulching our 100 or so fruit trees and have 5 under our belts with lots of cardboard and then a tractor bucketful of composted wood chips. The spreading of the basalt rock dust is done – we probably got about 10 tons spread, and will leave the rest of the pile for use next year.
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. We can use massive quantities right now
What I learned this week – Immune Enhancement in Covid Times
With the whole world (literally) concerned about Covid, whether to vaccinate or not, how to personally navigate the various restrictions – from government, society and self, I realize that I would like to engage you with what I feel can be my best contribution. Both Jack and I have felt since February that building our immune systems is something that we can all do in this crisis. I came upon a very good podcast from Australian agricultural consultant Graeme Sait’s Nutrition Farming Podcast series. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/special-edition-immune-enhancement/id1500903366 Take a listen to “Special Edition-Immune Enhancement” for some good explanation of the science and also some very practical tips on supplements, behaviors and practices that you might want to consider.
I hope you all passed a marvelous Christmas, Solstice, Hanukah, Kwanza, and all of the other traditions that abound this time of year. Best wishes for a bountiful New Year.