Dear friends and customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,
How many times each week do we see someone going above and beyond? In my opinion this is another manifestation of the miracles that are around us all the time. When others really put themselves out there, it reminds me of the opportunity that I have each day to participate in such activities. I would like to focus on Christal this week. Christal is a new neighbor who came to the farm early in the year for one of our on farm workshops. She subsequently signed on as a working shareholder for the season. This week she, a certified reflexologist, offered to Jack a reflexology session free of charge to help him in his recovery, which she shared with him for almost two hours on Friday! Thanks, Christal!
But wait, there is more. Brendan volunteered for 10 hours to help us collect, transport, slaughter and pack up for sales all of our chickens on Sunday. And R made a huge donation to the farm along with his payment for chickens, knowing all too well the economics of farming in New England, and Elizabeth told Ari that she would be giving us and Teresa, our drop off site host, a gift, for letting her deliver shares. And then there is Cameron, a Stetson kid who farms with the greatest of ease and finesse, here on Friday to lighten our loads. And Maria, who will do anything which is asked of her, who sweet talked the pigs through their somewhat bewildering move to their new home in the woods on Thursday.
What if we all upped our game to perform these random acts of kindness, giving the special gifts that we each hold, each day? I intend to focus more of my energy in that direction going forward.
Chicken house workshop
In the next two weeks we will be focusing on putting a chicken house partially together so that when the workshop comes we can take you easily through this process for you to do it at home.
Interested in raising healthy chickens? Why not consider pasturing them by building a range house that can be moved to fresh grass every day and let them gorge on the soil critters they love to eat. We will talk about how to use such a house, and present designs for several styles – ones which can be moved by one person and ones which accommodate more birds but requires two people to move. Egg collection, feeding and watering, and security from roaming dogs and wildlife will be discussed. The second half of the workshop will be a hands-on experience helping build such a house. The workshop will be on Saturday, September 18th from 10:00 to 12:00, at the farm. We will be both outside and inside, rain or shine. Stick around for a potluck lunch if you like right at the end of the workshop. Register below. We offer this workshop for a sliding scale donation. We truly appreciate it if you can donate to help cover costs and allow others who do not have the means to pay to attend. After registration donations can be made via PayPal at https://mhof.net/many-hands-sustainability-center/ or in cash/check the day of the workshop. MHSC is a 501(c)3 and any donation is tax deductible.
Register here: https://mhof.net/events-workshops/
We will not run the CSA on Labor Day, but the next day, Tuesday, September 7. Please be advised that Monday folks will pick up on Tuesday this week.
Week 15 best guess at what you will get
- Corn – last call. I hope you have enjoyed it
- Summer squash and zucchini – not quite gone yet
- Peppers – coming into their own
- Tomatoes took a dip in production last week, but will still be with us in lesser quantities
- Kale – our stalwart
- Chard – and our other stalwart
- Celery – debuting this week
- Peaches – amazingly still in strong supply – we took a break on those on Wednesday, but they are coming back strong with later varieties
- Apples – this week Grimes Golden
- Onions – fresh from the field
- Tulsi – this or some thai basil this week
- Carrots are back
- Soybeans – edamame
This note from shareholder, Willa –
It took us a minute on the web to discover that we had 2 stalks of fresh edamame. Another quick search told us to boil them for 3-5 minutes in salted water, and 1 minute for us to eat them. Per my husband, the best edamame he ever had. I have to agree.
What a lovely appetizer! Thank you for giving us another delicious surprise.
Fall CSA Closed
We have closed the fall CSA for this year. But if this took you by surprise, email or call me and we can squeeze you in.
Are closed as well, but folks are still enjoying vegetables. Ari handed this share off to Al when they did the drop-off this Friday. So glad to have our veggies going out to folks who need them!
The community fridges accept donations from anyone – if you can’t finish your share some weeks or want to take part in mutual aid, read more about the project online here: https://www.worcestercommunityfridges.com/
https://www.jennifermargulis.net/sugar-and-glyphosate-devastating-to-human-health-heres-why/ – Laurie Lentz-Marino, one of our working shareholders, wrote this very good article (with Jennifer Margulis) about sugar and glyphosate. Very thorough and helpful.
Meat Chickens now available for purchase from the freezer until they run out
Now the chickens will be frozen, but there are still some available. Inquire https://mhof.net/organic-meat/
It was a long hard week with a 12 hour staff day on Sunday, but we got 253 meat chickens processed and brought back to the farm. Monday we were all dragging, but the CSA must go on! At this time of year when we have so many things to harvest – I count 16 items for this upcoming week – we race from field to field. I was having a great conversation with Cara and Michael on Sunday where Cara noted and I agreed that it would be so marvelous if we could just farm, and not have to harvest and sell! Silly us of course, but driving by those weeds encroaching or that Hoop house whose plastic has blown off is hard when we know we just won’t get to it.
However, we did host a great crew of kids from Mount Wachusett Community College on Tuesday and they helped us harvest a bed of onions, split our turkeys into 5 houses, weed two difficult carrot beds, one of cilantro and dill and a whole section of celery and celeriac. And they ate the wonderful farm lunch that we provided too – nightshade soup with beef, veg and egg frittata and a big salad with peaches, blackberries and blueberries. Later in the week we were able to move the pigs to their new location and plant out the rest of our fennel and lettuce that we will be planting without cover. That leaves just a few radishes, perhaps, for things to plant out this fall, and a lot of cover crops of course.
The potato crop seems abysmal this year, sigh, but of course is compensated for by other strong showings (like garlic and peaches, for example). We have been using our own potato seed for a while now and I am wondering if I should go to purchased seed next year again.
We also moved our old layers over to our new layers and sorted out their housing. The baby layers came forth with their first egg on Friday! Egg sales will commence again for new customers and those old ones who have been put off for the past month.
Happy Labor Day! Looking for something fun to do? Come on over. We will be laboring!