Dear Friends and Customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,
When I think back on the past week it is a kaleidoscope of people and excess heat, and cold rain, and 16 person lunches, and weeds and mulch and peas and more people and rampant growth of the plants we are selecting for and those that we aren’t, and also of the bugs and fungi and bacteria. One big highlight this week was the visit by Nathan Harman, our ag consultant from Advancing EcoAgriculture. We spent 3 ½ hours touring and observing and getting strong advice for how to improve our agricultural bounty here. Bottom line – pond field is low on nitrogen (I think mainly as it is a new area and a bit low and wet), and all the fields need more iron, manganese and magnesium, some crops need potassium. Manganese and iron specifically are hard to get from the soil unless one has superior soil health going on. I guess we aren’t there yet! I wanted to hear this specific feedback but couldn’t help feeling a sense of inadequacy in my observational and critical management skills. Ego put aside, Friday we went out and bought a 55 gallon drum of fish and some OMRI approved potato bug killer, saturated a bunch of Epsom salts, redid our recipes, added a recipe for fireblight which has come in on our apples, and gotten to work correcting our deficiencies to give us the best shot for the rest of the season. We received a clean bill of health for our chard, peas, green onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. All the rest of the crops can benefit from more support. Off we go.
Monday deliveries are happening as normal – July 5 except that the Barre Health Center Folks need to pick up at the farm because I think the Health Center will be closed. Bags can be found in the walk-in fridge in the barn starting at 1:00pm.
Week seven best guess at what you will get
- Purple Kohlrabi – one more week and then a hiatus until perhaps the fall
- Lettuce – lots of it coming again – enjoy your salads
- Sugar snap peas – eat the whole thing
- Or shell peas – don’t eat the whole thing, but pop them out of the pod
- Kale or collards
- Green Onions
- Broccoli or beets or cabbage
Remember, Wednesday Worcester folks, that deliveries are now back at 4:30, and conversely, Holden Wednesday can count on their food being delivered by 1 pm.
NEW – Mutual Aid Community Fridge Share
Purchase a share to be delivered weekly to the Worcester community fridges for the duration of the summer CSA! Worcester Community Fridges believes having daily access to fresh food is a human right. In Worcester, 15% of families have identified as living with food insecurity. While navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, these numbers have risen significantly within the city. Community fridges are open 24/7, leaving no barriers in the way of someone accessing free food. In the spirit of mutual aid, we hope to contribute to our community by providing access to delicious, organic, nutrient-dense food for all! Learn more about the Worcester community fridges here.
It costs $270 to provide a weekly summer share for the free fridge. We welcome all donations, either for a full or partial share. Donations can be made through the Many Hands Sustainability Center with cash, check, or credit card. Checks should be made out to Many Hands Sustainability Center with the memo “fridge share” and mailed to 411 Sheldon Rd, Barre, MA 01005. Credit card donations can be made through our website at https://mhof.net/community-fridge-farmshare/. Send us a quick email letting us know you have donated to the fridge share via credit card at email@example.com.
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. https://mhof.net/csa-order-form/
Opening – Working Shareholders
One of the essential constituencies of our workforce is working shareholders. For 4 hours of work during the 22 week CSA summer season and the 5 week fall CSA season weekday mornings 8:00 am -12:00 am, 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.
New turkeys this week – 150 new wonderfully alert and curious souls were added to our menagerie. Boy I like turkeys and how they interact with their environment and people too, in a very focused way.
Parsley, ground cherries, 2 more kale beds, 1 onion and 1 leek bed – weeded and mulched. Weeded – collards, more kale, carrots, beets, 3 onion beds. Planted – 2 beds of lettuce and one of cabbage, a hoop house of melons. Prepped – 7 more beds from turnover of fennel, lettuce and onions – awaiting new residents next week. Hoed and cover cropped with crimson clover – summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, basil.
What will you do this week to fully express your unique gifts in the world? I will ponder that one and see what manifests.
Thanks for all of the health support that I received. I seem to be Lyme free and back in the saddle and still grateful for the outpouring. Leslie noted that I was back my mouthy self on Monday as did Scott on Tuesday . . . . . . .
The meat chickens are growing like crazy and we continue to add new houses for them regularly. It’s pretty incredible what they can accomplish in 13 weeks. If you haven’t placed your order yet, now is the time to do so! Check out the form at our website: https://mhof.net/organic-meat/
Check out the latest photos from the farm on our Instagram!