Dear friends and customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,

I have been a fan of Dawson Church for a while, a practitioner of energy psychology whose premise is that we not only can define our psychological health, but our physical health also. In the aforementioned book he quotes from the Buddha, “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act.” I was a fan of Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking” when I first read it as a teenager. This contemporary book details a fair amount of neuroscience to help explain this phenomena.

July after significantly too much rain requires a lot of positive thinking if you are a farmer. We have put in four months of unrelenting labor to work with the land and natural processes to provide massive amounts of nutritious food. And we have another 4 months ahead before we can consider not using each moment on the farm judiciously, so the end is not in sight. With large parts of the vegetative areas still squishy with water logging, our crops are not looking their best. But it rained less than predicted this past week and it is starting to get back into the 80’s. The western fires seem to be impacting our sunshine a little less than they were, and we are rooting for 7 more weeks of summer to come into a strong finish.

Education this week
The folks at the Real Organic Project have started doing some podcasts that have some merit. Three folks who all were keynoters the NOFA Summer Conference back in the day have podcasts that I enjoyed and learned from.
Leah Penniman –
Joan Gussow –
Eliot Coleman –
You can sign up for all of their podcasts at There are a lot of interesting topics and speakers to choose from.     

CSA Update

Week ten best guess at what you will get
It feels a little light this week. Often it takes about a week for the worst impact of excess rain to take effect. And it might be a week or two until things feed bounteous again. Please bear with us as we redouble our efforts to keep the plants healthy.

  • Lettuce is out of stock this week – a not uncommon phenomenon in late July/early August. If we have enough heads for large shares we will provide them
  • Parsley
  • Summer squash and zucchini – though some of our plants in the wetter west field have imploded, the crop seems to be doing well. And this week we will plant another crop of these summer beauties to extend the season further. !
  • Lemon balm or sage
  • Chives – after we dig them out of their friendly bishops weed!
  • Onions – last week for this spring crop
  • Chard
  • Beans – not as many as we hope for, but it looks like we will soon have some pole beans to add to the bush beans – bear with us
  • Collards as an alternative to kale this week
  • Carrots – new crop – we hope you enjoy them
  • Beets – some roots may be smaller as we do double duty of cleaning out the bed. Always enjoy the beets, the stems and the leaves

We often do a week or two of red raspberries and/or blueberries, but we just don’t have enough particularly of the raspberries this year. The cold and wet had significant deleterious effects on this crop. Look forward to peaches and apples and pears as the summer and fall progress.

CSA still open.
We are still taking shareholders. Check the website for the weekly downwardly changing prices.

Community Fridge shares –
Thanks this week to Joan for Community Fridge share donations. We were able to send 9 shares to Worcester on Friday. We are still taking donations if you are interested.

Meat Chickens ready for purchase on August 29 fresh
You will not find a tastier and no doubt more nutritious certified organic range raised Freedom Ranger chickens. They are only available once per year, so don’t tarry in ordering. Hens weigh in around 5 lbs. and cockerels around 7. They come dressed whole in a plastic bag with giblets and the neck (separated). Once we have roasted the bird we then make delicious chicken soup and often have enough chicken left for chicken salad also. These birds are top of the line.

Farm Doins
Lots of great highlights this week.

  • Cathleen and Anthony got two more bird houses on line – this includes a number of significant repairs to our existing houses.
  • We harvested our decidedly best crop of garlic on Tuesday thanks to Christal, Scott, Cathleen, and Clare
  • Thursday Maria, Anthony and Clare and I weeded, hilled and mulched our south field potatoes with old cardboard, hay and leaves, garlic stalks and dead pea vines. Then we cover cropped between the potato rows with a gifted cover crop mix from the American Farmland Trust and friend Caro Roszell consisting of daikon, winter pea and oats.
  • Clare, Doodle, Raphi, Juan and I tore down the pea vines and saved seeds for sugar snaps, green arrow and maxigolt – they are drying in the back of the greenhouse.
  • Anthony cut and raked more hay for us to use as mulch
  • Juan, Clare and I thinned 5 peach trees desperately in need of thinning
  • We upgraded our foliars to support our crops post rain excess and tease the beans into staying healthy.
  • We seriously missed Ari, Maya, John and Stu who were on vacation this past week.

Click left image to watch us harvesting garlic on Instagram, click right image to see the potato hilling process on Instagram (click the right arrow to see both videos)

Christal and Cathleen cleaning garlic (1), Clare and Scott with the final product – drying in the barn (2), turkeys chilling outside on range (3), our beautiful Prima apple tree not affected by the fireblight (4),  harvesting sugar snap peas for next years seed (5), sugar snaps, green arrow and maxigolt peas drying for next year’s seed (6)

Dawson Church suggests that rather than our genetics determining all or most of our behavior and health, that it might be more like 35%. I am a fan of free will and this is good news to me that my life, health and happiness are at least 65% in my own hands!