Perhaps we could all learn about proper pacing from these felines

Dear Friends and Shareholders of Many Hands Organic Farm,

Learning to not overdo has been one of my greatest challenges in life, and I suspect I am still on the learning curve. Wednesday evening found me in full crash – excessive heat early week, poison ivy, some too fun times swimming on Tuesday, and the crush of running a very diverse farm – all converged. Once again I was reminded not to take on too much. And much thanks to all the farm staff who covered for me Thursday and Friday. My friend Jean Claude often would remind me that there are many irreplaceable people in the graveyards of France. May all of us Type A folks find a way to share our talents without killing ourselves!

CSA Update
Week Four best guess at what you will get

  • Purple Kohlrabi – these are nice thinly sliced and raw or grated in a salad or even steamed as a hot vegetable
  • Lettuce – larger numbers as we are in a glut- have salad every day or share with a friend
  • Strawberries – you probably know what to do with these . . . .
  • Cilantro – getting a little bigger and nicer
  • Peppermint – in my opinion, the primo mint
  • Chard – this is a farm favorite, and being highly mineralized it does not have that bitter oxalate flavor often found in chard. It is doing well in its living mulch of crimson red clover
  • Kale or collards – hoping one of these will be a standard from now on – one of this week’s priorities is to get these all mulched
  • Lambs quarters – better than spinach, tasting and for you. Lightly steam or sauté
  • Red Dandelions – bitter good for your salad
  • Green Onions
  • Escarole for some – a bitter lettuce – good for digestion
  • Arugula – a different batch than last week’s  crop seriously incapacitated by flea beetles
  • Garlic scapes – we take these out of the center of the garlic plant to encourage the bulbs to grow bigger.

Letter from Shareholder

I wanted to share what I use for keeping my produce fresh: the reusable nylon mesh produce bags.  After I wash the produce and let it air dry a bit, I put them in a produce bag with a bit of a cotton tea towel.  This lets them breathe and stay dry. I get very little rot, although greens will eventually turn yellow.  Everything usually lasts more than a week. But it must be the nylon or plastic produce bags— cotton mesh bags don’t work. I’m guessing those bags absorb moisture and keep it around.

I discovered this accidentally after trying many things including those very expensive plastic produce keepers.  I was astounded at how much longer everything lasted.

Loving the CSA, and the beautiful drive to pick it up,


Strawberries in your share this week (1), Garlic scapes for your sautee, soup or pesto (2), We are excited to introduce chard from the field this week (3), Red dandelion – a cultivated dandelion that gives a nice bitter flavor to salad (4), Kohlrabi (5), Cilantro coming along well (6), Lambs quarters better than spinach – a seasonal “weed” (7)
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.

Order your chickens before they sell out!
While August 29th seems far away, our broiler chickens usually sell out a month or two before they are ready! We raise Freedom Rangers (red crosses) from JM Hatchery that thrive on range and whose parents were raised on non-GMO grain. Finding this source for chicks was an exciting opportunity for us to more thoroughly walk our talk. The widespread growing of GMO grain is, in our opinion, one of the most environmentally destructive growing practices in our country at this time, for the soil and for our health. Meat chickens will cost $7.00/lb., with hens weighing an averaging of 5 lbs. and cockerels averaging 7 lbs. You can order hens or cockerels, according to your needs.

Due to a state regulatory technicality, our chickens and turkeys are certified organic if you buy them before slaughter, but not after. You end up with a cleaned, whole, bagged bird (with giblets and neck). Chickens will be available for pick up in on August 29. Order your chickens with our meat order form on our website here:

Farm Doins
West field looking great – Tuesday we planted all of our field tomatoes, peppers and basil. It was a magical planting day which ended in a rainstorm. From the start the tomatoes looked great, perking up about ½ hour after planting. The peppers and basil fared the same. We did our usual protocol these days, of removing the field tarps, then spraying the whole area with a tomato soil primer. Then big holes were dug, filled with water, then sprayed with transplant drench and then planted. This week we will interplant some clover as a living cover. This week we were also able to mulch all of our winter and summer squash and more midseason brassicas. While we were there we took out the spinach and radishes and planted our husk tomatoes and edamame soybeans.

More mulching success around heavily mulching around our pole beans and bush beans, fully finishing up the left-over hay from winter mulching the back 40 and topping off the job with harvested hay from the home orchard. 500 sweet potatoes to be planted took a lot of energy on Friday, Cathleen and company made progress on our new chicken tractors, folks started the process of rolling up the sides of the hoop houses, and we made small progress on black raspberry trellises. Chrystal and Anna are a new and a returning working shareholder, and each started this week.

Click to view a video of us planting tomatoes on Instagram (very top), Well mulched summer and winter squash (top) Cathleen and Anthony working on chicken tractors (middle left), well mulched beans (middle right), baby basil planted Tuesday (bottom right), Clare planting tomatoes (bottom right)

May you have an excellent Fathers Day next Sunday.


Community Announcements

The BFA is hiring! We are searching for a highly skilled individual with a track record of experience in administrative assistance for our new Executive Assistant role. This job is full-time, hourly, and *not* an entry level position. We are growing quickly and are looking for someone who loves keeping their ducks in a row. If this sounds like you or someone you know, check out the full job description: and application instructions.