Looking over the garden and south field during the rain storm Wednesday night – yippee for rain

First off, forget that rush to summer! The rain has been great this week, and the cold is, well, New England.

Memorial Day for me means lots of marching and playing hymns. I am grateful that today I will get to play with the Weir River Band at their Memorial Day parade. Not from a family of military folks at all, I have always hoped that playing my French horn this one day of the year to be thoughtful and grateful for all of those who have died in the ravages of war is one little part that I can play.
And on Saturday I went to the dump, the PO and the grocery store without a mask. It sparked all sorts of wonderful conversations, being able to see full faces after 14 months. Yippee.

CSA Update
Remember Monday folks that the CSA schedule for today will run on Tuesday, June 1. Wednesday and Friday deliveries will be normal.

Thanks to those who wrote to appreciate the good but spare shares this past week. And to those of you who wondered why there was so little, I hope you will bear with us as we bear with the weather. We will (and always have) make up for these short first weeks with stuffed bags as the season progresses. Welcome to local and seasonal eating in all of its glory.

Remember that this list that I printed last week and will send along this week is our best guess as to what we will have. Things might change as the week progresses, but rest assured that we are working overtime to make sure that each shareholder gets their due.

Wanting out? Though I don’t suggest it, you can get a full refund for weeks going forward minus a $50 handling fee if you think you just made the wrong decision to join us. Be in touch as necessary.

From what I heard (and mostly didn’t hear), pick-ups seemed to go relatively well this first week. Do be in touch if you have any questions or can’t find your food. Try me via Julie@mhof.net, phone or text at 978-257-1192, or home phone – 978-355-2853. Trying all four methods will likely rouse me the most quickly – depending on where I am at any one time on pick up afternoons.

Don’t forget to bring back your bags to your pick up location this week (and every week). That will ensure that you get a cloth bag each week.

Clare and I surveyed the crops on Friday and here is our best guess for June 1, 2 and 4
Spinach– this time from the field, and of really nice quality.
Kale for larges only – picking from the hoop house – limited supply
Green spring onions – 2 bunches for each shareholder (bundle sizes will vary with small, medium and large). These green onions will only get bigger and better each week. We hope we have enough for the next 5 weeks. Use them raw or cooked in almost any dish.
Lettuce from the field – heads – 1, 2, or 3 – small, medium, large
Oregano – all one size – I prefer this as part of a stir fry, soup or egg dish, but it can be chopped fine and added to your salad too (along with green onions and lettuce)
Chinese cabbage, green choi and red choi – these early Asian greens are all going to show some flea beetle damage. Flea beetles have their way with this family of plants (brassicas) early in the season. Bear with us as these early crops come to harvest. This too will pass (flea beetle problems). I like these Asians best in a stir fry or fried egg dish – first sautee some onions, then add the chopped greens and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add beaten eggs and cook until the eggs are firm. I always use salt and pepper too.

Recipe this week – Amazing stir fry
I feed 10-12 every day during the week and have to come up with big meals that are reasonably quick, and nourishing and filling. This week on Friday we made the following stir fry.

Sautee 1 lb. of ground beef from the Farm School in Athol https://farmschool.org/ with our homemade lard (sorry this is presently sold out but available for pre-order for December – https://mhof.net/organic-meat/

Chop fine the following:
A bunch of chives
3 beets
A bunch of kale
A bunch of chard
A bunch of spinach
Some sprigs of peppermint
A little parsley
Once the meat is sautéed in a covered cast iron pan, add the finely chopped vegetables and steam them in the pot until they are just tender (5-10 minutes). Stir to get everything well mixed. Add some tamari at the end.
Meanwhile – cook up a couple of cups of long grain organic brown rice in a quart of thawed turkey stock, adding some salt and butter at the end. Serve under the stir fry.
Num num. Each stir fry is different as the seasons change.

CSA still open
If you want to join the CSA but haven’t yet gotten around to it, it is not too late. Check the website for the weekly downwardly changing prices. We picked up a few members again this week.

CSA Last Week

Farm Doins
Besides picking and packing for the CSA this week we were able to prepare for and plant 5 beds of celery in our back forty which had been under cardboard and hay for 3 months – earthworms galore. Then we took the tarps off the west field former hayfield and popped in summer and winter squash and cucumbers. We weeded and mulched our rhubarb (starring next week in the CSA) and elderberries, and cleaned up one of our 5 strawberry beds and some black raspberries. We also accomplished the weeding and mulching of 2 cabbage and 4 Brussels sprouts beds and weeded two beet beds. Anthony cut a bunch of hay for mulch and we are now in process of getting all the hay on the farm cut, raked and used as mulch in the next month (about 4 acres total). Weeding and mulching is a top priority in the next 2-4 weeks as we continue to plant things – scorzonera, celeriac, parsnips, lettuce, dill, cilantro, more carrots and beets, and some hemp on deck for this week. Anthony, Jack and I have brought our liquid fertility program to new levels with intricate recipes for the entire season now catalogued and scheduled.

Blackberries, blueberries, garlic, elderberries, rhubarb in the home garden (top), John and Scott with their squash holes in the west field (middle left), mulching in process for Brussels sprouts and cabbage in pond field (middle right), Anthony and Maria in bed three of 5 for celery in the back 40 (bottom left), Anthony raking hay with our wonderful ground driven rake from mid 20th century (bottom right), videos of recycling mulch from back 40 and removing hay and cardboard from back 40, spraying with rejuvenate and raking beds (click to view on Instagram, swipe to see the second video).

Staff Update
Cathleen came back from vacation, Clare flew to Kentucky for 2 days, and Maya and Ari are zeroing in on the end of school at Clark. This week will be a short one with 4 days, but we will be firing on all cylinders by the week of June 7. Heinrich is a solid 3 half days and Juan at 2 full, then add in our 15 or so working shareholders and we are able to accomplish great things each week.


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