Dear Friends and Customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,

If you have not yet read Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, I would say it is a must read. Above is one of many concepts that she so eloquently passes along in this beautifully written book by a Potawatomi/scientist woman who straddles the native American and non-indigenous American experience so thoughtfully.

Okay, so for the most part the weather this week sucked, to put it bluntly. Monday was my most challenging day, which reached its difficulty apex when a tarp wrapped around me and knocked me over. But by Friday we had them tamed again, and this time, with Cathleen’s urging, we rolled under the edges of the tarps, added more sandbags and a bunch of pallets too. As of this writing, all tarps are lying flat!

And we finished pruning the pond field orchard, and mulched all but about 8 of those trees. Monday we will finish that mulching, prune the trees in the front yard and then go quickly into small fruit management. We are also going to move two tarps from the north field to the pond field (which will cover that field completely) and put up pea trellises this week. Yes, vegetables are on their way! Last week we took a rainy day to broadcast our perennial pollinator mix around the base of all of the mulched trees and look forward to how this new experiment will come out. We started a bunch more seeds in the greenhouse, moved more out to the hoop house, and are supporting the coming to life of thousands of little vegetable beings. That parsley that we soaked and covered with inoculant came up in no time in their flats. And by the way, some of our parsley that we covered over the winter is up and planning to make a great growth before going to seed.

That is the tarp that knocked me over (top), parsley is coming back! (bottom left), even after the low 20’s the seedlings thrive under their double row cover (bottom right).

Another large project was to get the chicken tractors fixed and moved to the annex and the chickens moved out. Franny has found a new lease on life because she can now help move birds every day again, and is right there to catch any chicken who tries to escape in the moving process.

Of note was the hoeing out of all of the returning grasses in the south field that will make that space ready for the planting of our 96 pounds of onion sets in 2 weeks.

Click the video above to watch us moving the chicken houses into place.

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, camaraderie 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!). This workshop will be primarily run by our local mushroom expert Cathleen O’Keefe.

Register here:

I for one have become a real mushroom-o-phile. Thanks to Jim St. Laurent who drilled mushrooms into our brains last year, and took us on many of a wild mushroom walk, they are a real part of my life. Did you know that reishi at chaga are particularly adept and dissolving inflammation in the body?

Click the video above to watch Cathleen chat about the upcoming mushroom workshop!

Can you help with CSA outreach?
We had another excellent week for CSA subscriptions. We are at $24,731.12 for the summer CSA. If you want to help us with outreach, here are some avenues.

  • If you are a member and enjoy our food, can you get another new member to join?
    • Facebook Instagram posts are great and here is one that Maya put together for you. Please share out Instagram and Facebook posts here!
    • We have flyers and posters that we can send you (or a link for you to reproduce them). Ask here –
    • Churches and civic groups that you may be a member of – use Maya’s facebook post to share with your email lists.
    • The best option – word of mouth. How was your life changed for the better when you started eating our good food?

And if you haven’t yet for 2021, sign up here –

Consider supporting a low income individual to purchase a CSA share
We have a policy of not charging SNAP CSA customers for delivery, a $44 item for the season. We have been blessed with a burgeoning number of SNAP folks this year and wonder if anyone of you would be interested in helping us defray the cost of the deliveries. You can donate here through the Many Hands Sustainability Center. Please send an email to to have your funds be counted toward the SNAP recipient fund. Thanks in advance.

Working Shareholder Opportunity
One of the essential constituencies of our workforce is working shareholders. For 4 hours of work during the 22 week CSA summer season, the 5 week fall CSA season, and throughout the winter if you desire (M, W, F mornings 8-noon), volunteers receive as barter one large share of produce during the CSA season. Come for breakfast at 6:30 and stay for lunch. It is a good opportunity for someone interested in learning the CSA process from a hands on perspective (there are some animal chores too), and to become a part of our farm community. Vacations and time off are encouraged. We are always looking for more working shareholders to help us with the very large CSA harvest, and working shareholders become beloved members of our staff.

Weekend Chores Working Shareholder Opportunity

If you are interested in learning more about our broiler chickens, layer chickens, pigs, and turkeys we have recently added a Saturday and/or Sunday animal care working shareholder position. Work 1-2 hours from 8:00am – 10:00am on Saturday and/or Sunday in exchange for some delicious and nutritious organic vegetables and/or eggs. This position is great for someone that is unavailable during the week, or has a particular affinity for farm animals. Note that this position will require some heavy lifting (we need to move mobile bird houses with a dolly and some heft and haul around 50 lb. bags of feed). Position is available from early to mid-April through Thanksgiving.

Contact Julie at or 978-355-2853(h) or 978-257-1192 (cell) for more information.

Products available now at the farm

  • Ground pork in 1 lb. packages – $10/lb.
  • Pork stock – $7.50/quart
  • Eggs – $8/dozen
  • Comfrey salve – $8/2 oz.
  • Hemp salve – $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) – $7/1 quart

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

When can I start ordering meat?
Right now, as a matter of fact. For new folks, we pre-order all of our meat and it usually sells out long before slaughter. Chickens were gone by June last year, pork by August and turkeys by November 1. So, don’t tarry if you would like to order. Here is the page link where you can read up on what we have to offer. –

Cardboard update
We are closing in. Not time to stop the flow yet, however. We have a massive cardbaording job in the annex with our blueberries, which will take lots of material. Keep bringing it if you like, and leave it in the garage inside the front left.

John Kempf this week – Understanding No Till Market Gardening with Jesse Frost
Some good stuff therein –

Christine Jones started March 30, more to come on April 6
It was fantastic, and you can find the download of  the 30th talk, The Microbial Sociobiome, there. Session 2 will be this Tuesday. Prepare to expand your knowledge base and also enjoy a great Australian accent.  In a rare opportunity, the Green Cover Seed Company is going to have Christine on a webinar 4 Tuesday nights in a row starting March 30 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm ET. All for free. Here is the info on how to register.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Mar 30, 2021 05:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Secrets of the Soil Sociobiome- Dr. Christine Jones
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Okay, the weather promises to be great again this week, and we can’t wait – slowly moving from perennial focus to annual focus.