March 15, 2021
Dear Friends and Customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,
This was bulk order week at MHOF. We have been hosting this central Mass site for the NOFA/Mass bulk order since 1985, and it is now a sacred tradition around here. Friends from all over Worcester County (and a handful of strays from surrounding places) show up and unload several tons of stuff, sort it and pass it back out, to 70 customers this year. Ricky Baruc just kept saying, “this is real, this is real.” So many are so starved for time with friends at this time, and it was good to be back working together, eating singing, laughing and lifting heavy burdens all day.
Volunteers help unload an incoming truck (top left), many helping hands means a full driveway! (top right), tons of supplies for 70 customers (bottom left), dividing up the orders (bottom right).
Organic Small Fruit Production
Coming up quickly on Saturday, March 20 from 10-12 with pot luck lunch at the end. This will be a split Zoom and in person workshop. It will differ from our previous two workshops in that when we repair to outside we will turn off zoom. We will record the workshop (complete with new mics!), and then send the online participants the recording. After looking at our options for livestreaming we determined it would be better to not attempt that with our resource base.
We will start with a powerpoint on small fruit culture and pruning and fertility. Once we move outside we will try our hands at pruning blueberries, grapes, red raspberries, black raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, elderberries, etc. We will spend a little time with the strawberries also. Jack is putting together a step by step grape pruning presentation for all. We will demonstrate our mulching and care practices. Clare, Jack and Julie will be our presenters.
Register here: http://bit.ly/MHSCSmallFruit
Click the video above to hear Clare chat about the workshop and pruning blueberry bushes.
Mushroom Plugging Workshop
Tis the season for creating new life, including mushrooms! On April 10, join the cast and crew at Many Hands Organic Farm for 2 hours of hands on learning. We’ll be hefting logs, plugging them with shitake spawn, and sealing the plugs over with cheese wax. When we’re done with that we’ll start our first ever oyster totems, using poplar logs. Potluck lunch to follow, questions encouraged, comraderie required.
The workshop will be on April 10th from 10:00 to noon, at the farm. We will be primarily outside (depending on weather) and there will be no zoom option (but we will upload a recording of the workshop afterwards!).
Register here: http://bit.ly/MHSCMushroom
Sign up for the 2021 CSA options
We broke $16,000 on the CSA sign up this week. Only $67,000 to go. Sign up here – https://mhof.net/community-supported-agriculture/ It will be the best eating experience that you have had yet. Besides paying for things like fertility, seed, and salaries for our 5 hardworking staff members, your dollars pay for tractor repairs, potting soil, organic certification fees ($1600 this week!), liability insurance, workers comp and other costs of doing business.
We have started our weekly herb series! Read the newsletter weekly to learn more about the health benefits of herbs included in the CSA.
Use Your SNAP & HIP at MHOF
If paying for a CSA in full creates a hardship, please contact us to create an individualized plan, understanding that we cannot provide food that has not yet been paid for. We are partners with SNAP and the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which partially matches your CSA SNAP purchase with more dollars. Participants can pick up at all locations. Contact Julie: firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-355-2853 to sign up. Delivery for SNAP customers is on us – free.
Share this with someone that might benefit from our partnership with SNAP and HIP!
Products available now at the farm
- 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 Julie@mhof.net
Help Deliver The CSA
Many Hands Organic Farm is seeking a delivery driver for Monday afternoons! The driver would pick up the CSA bags in Barre, and deliver to Princeton center and Paxton center for the whole Summer CSA season. Drivers are compensated at $2 per bag delivered, with between 25 – 35 bags being delivered per day. Please contact Julie at 978-355-3853 or Julie@mhof.net.
Stu corrected me that the cardboard was not from Tractor Supply but Ahearn’s! Another bale arrived this past Friday. We got waylaid with the bulk order, however, and putting all of our tarps back down (half of them blew away over Friday night’s ultra windy weather!), and some more planting in the hoop houses. The spinach and radishes and turnips are up and doing well in the houses, by the way. It is amazing to me that those little seeds can tolerate the temperature all the way from 10 degrees to 90 degrees. What a will to live and thrive!
We loved the warm weather last week, and it was just enough to get us through the inevitable cold and snow that are still to come our way – a promise of spring to come. We will be so busy soon!
And the cardboard is still coming in swiftly. I am hoping we can get the entire home orchard mulched this week, after we re-secure the tarps! We did finish our last field laying of cardboard and hay this week – yippee!
Educational podcasts this week
Two great podcasts – Graeme Sait’s Nutrition Farming – https://anchor.fm/nutrition-farming -check out this advice about supplementing with boron for stronger bones and resolution of osteoarthritis symptoms.
And John Kempf interviewed Jay Fuhrer this week – http://regenerativeagriculturepodcast.com/episode-65-jay-fuhrer – there is some very inspiring material there and a good education regarding the prairie.
Gotta run! Julie