May 10, 2021

Dear friends and customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,

When seeking beauty one needn’t look far in May. The violets have taken over our lawn, there is a patch of dandelions in the field that must be several thousand strong with the sturdy yellow flowers. The pears, peaches, apples and plums are all in or going into bloom. Spring’s renewal is upon us.

The Beautiful Perennial Flowers

Farm doins
Besides getting all of our potatoes, most of our 4-5,000 onion plants, 4 large beds of chard, more carrots, beets and arugula planted, we harvested a large quantity of burdock for drying for powder and tincture, received our new baby laying hen chicks, and started a greenhouse full of seeds of summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. We removed the tarps in the south field, a little before the grass was entirely dead, but putting hoe to land removed it from its moorings. Thanks to our continuous large crews of 10 or more on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, we have moved ahead in the spring race again this past week.

Removing the hay and cardboard from the south field to make way for onions and Swiss chard (top), holes for potatoes with the seeds in them – we planted 1400 linear feet on Monday and Tuesday (top left), Baldwin apple readying to open its blossoms (top right), our cover crop mix – perennial pollinator mix germinated well under our fruit trees (middle left), beautiful chard plants awaiting planting – there are now around 2000 of them in the ground (middle right), the baby layer chicks arrived on Friday (bottom left), this beautiful pear tree gives us about 1000 pears each year (bottom right).
Harvest these medicinal roots right now before they leaf out entirely. Burdock root, powdered or tinctured has the following great properties to be gained from –
1. Its a powerhouse of antioxidants
2. It removes toxins from the blood
3. It may inhibit some types of cancer
4. It may be an aphrodisiac
5. It can help treat skin issues

Don’t have a food dryer yet? Time to get one. The miracles of common plants are upon us and more are coming along each week.

Making the best of it
Sadie, our yearling cat had a litter of children, somewhere on the farm, but lost them. After a short time of mourning she decided to help Eloise and Scraps with their large 13 kitten brood and has now moved into the closet to help out. It is wondrous to observe nature.

Auntie Sadie moved in to assist Scraps and Eloise with their large brood.
CSA Update
We hit 57.5% of our Summer CSA goal this week – $47,721 to be exact. This week we added pick up locations in Athol and Shrewsbury to make it more convenient for folks.  Only 2 weeks until the CSA starts. Wednesday shares are closing soon, in the next day or two when we hit 70 shares for that day.
Peas are up (top left), spinach is up (top right), garlic doing well (bottom left), strawberries came back strong and beautiful (bottom right)
Seed Starting workshop
Our fifth workshop of the season is over and we enjoyed sharing our experience of this most important aspect of farming – getting folks off to a strong start. The recording is up on the website along with a handout that Clare and I put together.  It was good to hear that folks appreciated the fine quality of our soil.
Participants in seedling starting workshop

Products available now at the farm

  • Ground pork in 1 lb. packages – $10/lb.
  • 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
  • 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

Thanks for your support for our low income CSA members
Thanks for an overwhelming response to our request for help with deliveries for our SNAP customers. We have more than enough money to manage this effort thanks to you.

Staff Update
Juan is new to us this week. Answering our call for an immigrant farmer, Juan, from Colombia, has a story that is not uncommon amongst immigrants to our country – a story that I, certainly, from a stable American farming background can only imagine. We are fortunate that he has found us.

Lunch from 4 continents on Friday!
Krischaun and I enjoyed a turn around the farm in the red Subaru before I delivered him to Stetson for his last day before returning to Springfield. It is so very quiet here now. . . .  .
Krischaun in the driver’s seat.

Leeks, the last of the onions, more brassicas, and parsley this week.