Dear Friends and Customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,

I think a lot about worms, especially when we are laying cardboard and leaves on our crop land, a tried and true magnet for worms. It is too cold and snowy right now to do much else on the farm. I was thus delighted to receive Graeme Sait’s latest podcast titled  “Earthworms and Mineral Management”.–Mineral-Management-eq65b1 Enjoy this podcast to learn some of the details of the lowly earthworm.

According to Sail you will gain 300 tons of fertilizer per hectare per year with 25 worms per shovelful. Back to the cardboard!

Clare and Julie reconnoitering about the boundaries for the mulch in this area of expansion.

Sign up for the 2021 CSA options
They keep coming in, and we appreciate your early commitment. Keep an eye out for some work that Maya will be doing to promote National CSA Week coming up starting February 21. Sign up here –

The kale that will serve as early shares in the hoop houses germinating while the beets consider their options for a little while longer (left), AJ nailing a lip on our waxed box shelves so they won’t keep falling all over the floor in the barn (right)

Next MHSC Workshop February 27 10-12 then a pot luck
Organic Fruit Tree Production
We have 6 registrants right now. We would love a full house. Come learn about all of our mistakes and some of our successes. Jack’s and my pruning hero Jack Mastrianni will be coming to offer his wisdom all the way from NH. Click here to register! Here is a teaser:

Fruit Tree Seasonal Soil Drench
Number of Apps: 4
Price per App – $46.61
Start Date: May 1 and repeat monthly, June, 1, July 1, August 1
Rate per acre
1 gallon Sea Shield – AEA
2 quarts Rejuvenate – AEA
1 quart HoloCal – AEA
1 quart Sea Crop – AEA
20 grams Spectrum alternated with 20 grams MycoGenesis – Tainio Technologies

Products available now

  • Ground pork in 1 lb. packages – $10/lb.
  • Pork stock – $7.50/quart
  • Beef Stock made from Chase Hill Farm beef bones – $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
  • Canned (jarred) tomatoes) – $6/1 quart

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

Keep that Cardboard Coming!
We love it when it arrives flattened without any tape. Remember, we can only use brown cardboard with no shiny coatings. We received an incredible quantity this past week (thanks to Roberta, Stu, Clare and Bob) and successfully covered 2400 square feet, covering it with leaves and then some snow to keep the leaves down.

We would love to skip this step (removing tape) in the cardboard process, if you have time (left), We froze on Friday (right).

Check out our latest videos on the You Tube Channel – Cooking specials on oatmeal and soup to feed a crowd.

Click the videos below to watch. Thanks for this request from a subscriber – feel free to write me at if you have suggestions!

Exciting News in the Many Hands Sustainability Center
Through our outreach for an immigrant farmer we stumbled upon the LGBT Asylum Task Force, a wonderful organization in Worcester that accepts asylum seekers who fit the above demographic (check them out at A little digging educated us to the fact that LGBT folks from some countries in Africa are persecuted and sometimes killed. One member of the task force has reached out to us to volunteer for now, as asylum seekers often have to wait more than a year in order to get a work permit. He comes from an agrarian background in Uganda. This was probably the most exciting news of the week! More to come.

Bundle up again this week . . . . Julie

Weekly Staff Spotlight

Cathleen O’Keefe grew up in farm country outside Richmond, Virginia and received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Economic Policy from NC State. She eventually moved to the Pioneer Valley, for love and anarchy, but found herself even more passionate about being the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Coordinator for several years. In her simultaneous role as Bulk Order Coordinator, Cathleen deepened her connections with small scale local producers, and soon joined the crew at Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst. This led to a short stint as farm store manager and a permanent position as managing owner of the Winter Farmers Market at the Hampshire Mall.

After years of supporting roles, Cathleen stole the show in her debut at Many Hands in the 2020 season. Drawing on previous experience with union organizing in professional theatre, Cathleen is passionate about tackling the social issues associated with farming. She says that while local or organic radishes cost more, “buying food on a commercial scale in the industrial food complex is also very expensive. But we just don’t see those costs at the grocery store.” She hopes that talking about these social issues can become a larger part of the organic movement, in conjunction with conversations about sustainability and environmental impacts. She is cognizant that farm workers across the nation endure brutal conditions and have few rights, but feels fortunate to work at Many Hands where she is fed, only works a 7 hour day, and is paid adequately.

Check out the latest photos from the farm on our Instagram!