Dear friends and customers of Many Hands Organic Farm,

Repairs,  and “I don’t care what happens” – Krishna Murti
And what comes before repairs is things that break. Well it was our week for things to break. First it was the hard plastic pan set up in our cider pressing operation, then the old pig house, stuck in the mud, couldn’t seem to make it to its next destination when we hooked it up to the tractor, and various members pulled apart. And then on Friday afternoon as we were hand driving one of our chicken houses across the street, a corner caught on the edge of blacktop and cracked the front board. Jack did an elegant fiberglass/bondo fix on the pan, and Anthony will figure out a new board or a repair plate on the chicken house, but the pig house will take more significant time and energy. And then there are the five hoop houses, whose plastic blew completely off this summer when we tried a jerry rigged method for rolling the sides up. Truth is, a lot of life involves repairs – hundreds of things in an average house, then the car, the machinery that all of us use, socks to darn, patches for knees of pants – the list is endless. And then of course there are relationships. How many of us find ourselves “mending fences” after a sharp word or inconsiderate act? And then of course our own bodies that we need to fix up after an injury or accident. I am all for repairs, actually. Each time we repair an inanimate object, we can build skill, and probably a little more care too, to try to avoid the break next time. And when I get mad at someone and then think better of my use of terms, I can grow in maturity of relationship. Life is wonderfully imperfect, and life’s lessons come at us with great frequency. What an opportunity for us each day!

We have eggs for sale!
In abundance all of a sudden as our new layers are at it with great gusto. At $8.00 per dozen these nature’s perfect food are the best eggs you will encounter. Besides their certified organic grain from Green Mountain Feeds, the chickens get fresh pasture each day which is loaded with grasses and wild herbs.  Contact me to arrange getting eggs.

MHOF listed as 4th best source of organic poultry in the US by the Cornucopia Institute
It is time to order your Thanksgiving turkey. They are now in the pond hayfield, dodging puddles in this most wet year that I think I have seen. Some have taken a left turn into the garden area to eat up left over crops. There is hardly anything more pleasing than listening to them as they settle in for the night each night, talking softly to each other. You can reserve a turkey here –

Old layers for stewing available November 7
After our laying hens have finished their 2nd season and before we would need to keep them going during the winter when their laying will go down significantly, we slaughter the older birds. We have about 50 birds available for purchase. These are very affordable at $15 each. You can order them here. Take the birds home and boil them for about 4 hours, then separate the meat from the bones. You can freeze the stock of meat and broth, or use it immediately for chicken soup. Yes, grandma got it right. Chicken soup is one of the best things you can do for your immune system and get you well when you are sick. And these birds are very economical for those on a limited budget.

CSA Update – Week 21 of 22
Last Week – Week of October 18
This is the second to last week
Week 21 best guess at what you will get

  • parsley
  • Peppers – we harvested all the peppers last week to make way for the laying hens who are now passing slowly over the west field to eat up the clover and manure the soil for us
  • Husk cherries
  • Cilantro
  • Leeks
  • arugula
  • onions
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Broccoli – probably only for larges
  • Asian greens of one sort or another
  • Turnips or maybe kohlrabi or maybe both
  • Winter squash from storage in the barn
  • Apples – mostly Baldwins still, one of the mightiest of the apple trees
Last week’s CSA share

Farm store hours – a new addition to our opportunities to buy great eggs and more

We have been loath to set certain hours for shopping here at MHOF, adding one more thing to manage to our already busy schedule. But we are taking the plunge and offering walk in sales at the following times
M-F – 12-1 pm
Tuesday 5-7
Friday 5-7
Always call ahead to be sure of supply.

Available this week

  1. Free range organic eggs at $8/dozen – the chickens are presently enjoying a range diet of crimson red clover to enhance vitamin A content
  2. frozen certified organic range raised roaster chickens in the 6-8 lb. range – $7/lb
  3. dandelion and yellow dock tincture in 2 ounce bottles – $10
  4. frozen certified organic applesauce – just the apples cooked down in water – $7/quart
  5. 2 ounce jars of comfrey salve – $8 each
  6. 2 ounce jars of hemp salve – $10 each
  7. certified organic garlic for seed or eating – $15/lb.

We need help between now and Thanksgiving
With some loss of staff and winter soon closing in we need some extra help for the next six weeks or so. We are looking for folks with a willingness to work hard and take direction, in any kind of weather. Regarding remuneration, we can offer a farm vegetable share for half a day, and add things like eggs or turkey futures, if interested, or negotiable rate of pay.

Starting on October 25 breakfast is at 8 and lunch at noon, additionally. Still starting at 7 am until the 25th. Inquire.

Graeme Sait is back with Nutrition Farming Podcast S2 EP9 – Water Management – Nurturing the New Gold

I noted last week that Graeme’s podcast had come out. This week I wanted to take down Graeme’s 13 principles for happiness.

  • Abandon expectations
  • Be grateful
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Understand abundance – give and you shall receive
  • Become an observer and live your own life
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Drop the blame game
  • See the beauty
  • Create purpose in life
  • Recognize the power of thinking positively
  • Live in the moment
  • Create stillness
  • Go with the flow – “I don’t care what happens” – Krishna Murti

Julie’s Health tips
I have mentioned tapping in the past, and want to highlight it today. I was first introduced to Emotional Freedom Technique by Dawson Church, but there are many other practitioners all over the internet should you decide to give it a try. People have noted improved health, relief of pain, and more stable emotional well-being using this free and quick and accessible technique of self-care. And one can tap for as little as 3 minutes at a time. The basic theory is that you should tap on important acupuncture points while speaking an intention to improve something in your situation that you want to focus on. Here is a link to an article on Healthline –

Kittens leaving on October 30
Within 24 hours of posting on facebook and Instagram, we got 30 requests for kittens. Needless to say they are all reserved. I got into the kitten business inadvertently by keeping a couple of female kittens of Eloise, our beloved grandmother cat who we hand raised along with her brothers and sisters back in 2017. I wanted to make sure that we had enough cats around to keep our farm’s rats and mice and voles in check. Then the ladies decided to have kittens all at the same time and then decided they should have them in the house because Eloise knew all about growing up in the house (before becoming a very successful outside inside cat). I have been amazed at how hard it is for folks to find kittens these days without paying an arm and a leg and also to find a cat that has not been spayed. Now I have learned that there are some powerful opinions out there about immediately spaying cats and dogs, purportedly to keep the numbers of unwanted pets down, and in the case of cats, protect our songbird supply. And perhaps that was the initial impetus, but it seems to have had the impact of making getting a kitten or a puppy totally unaffordable for people of modest means. My brother reminded me recently that I was “the cat lady” growing up, and yes, I do like cats for their own selves, but practically speaking, having a cat or two around for anyone who lives in a building, is the best way to keep unwanted rodents from moving in and taking over. Regarding songbirds, there is no question that cats will kill birds. I guess my bow to that issue is the making it a highest priority to provide a diverse habitat to attract birds (along with everyone else) to our farm ecosystem. Someone said one should make sure that one’s vocation and avocation are the same, and I guess in this case they have merged for us. Missed your chance at a kitten? Keep an eye on us, as we might well have some more available in the next round.

Nature Parent Class – Ellen Kittredge

Did you know that there is something called Nature Disconnection Disorder?

Evolutionarily speaking we have spent the vast majority of our collective history in connection with nature. It is only more recently that we’ve started to be indoors the majority of our days, and concurrently have begun to suffer from the many ills of this disconnection – not only in our own health, but in that of the planet.

“Increasing urbanization and a lack of nature exposure increase the risk of mental illness, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.” – Kresser Institute

Not to mention that our health (mental, emotional, physical) suffers when we are disconnected from those rhythms, and begins to flourish again when we reconnect – much like a plant that turns its leaves from brown to green again when watered after a long dry spell! My indigenous teachers in the High Andes state that the #1 issue with health they see when encountering Westerners is their disconnection with the earth. In fact, the first thing they often do when offering a healing is to facilitate a reconnection with the earth. Otherwise the healing they offer doesn’t stick!

I have noticed the very same with my work, which is why, after 10+ years of studying nature connection practices, I am SO thrilled to offer something that is unlike anything I’ve offered ever before: a combination of my deep study and practice, and inspired by the many success stories of my private clients whom I’ve offered this work to.

For the second time now, I will be offering my Course: Wisdom of the Body – Wisdom of Earth: A 6 Week Initiatory Journey of Awakening

We begin October 17th! Bring-a-Friend for a discount, and enjoy this sacred journey of reconnection to Wisdom  with a dear friend or loved one whom you can share the experience with. Now, more than ever, as we struggle to come back to “normalcy” and regain a sense of wholeness, clarity and insight into a pathway forward in these times, I am so delighted to be able to offer practical, easy, inspiring, and truly life-changing ways to heal our bodies, reconnect to our innate wisdom, and gain a relationship of support from nature like never experienced before. Resource yourself with the living world all around you. This well never runs dry.Your life may just open in ways you could never have imagined possible, as our most recent course participants experienced.

“By taking this course I have learned that I can change beyond what I thought possible/that doing practices using breath, movement and touch change me IN THE MOMENT/that going into my 76th year, there are still many possibilities. The course has been a wonderful combination of letting go and forward energy – a rebalancing of these.I entered with anticipation. I wanted guidance to step deeper into my own being; I got it!”
– Ruth

We meet online on Zoom, yet you will be getting outside and communing with nature as part of this Course.
Did you know that being outside in nature raises levels of Natural Killer cells in the body, thus boosting weakened immune function? There are SO many reasons right now to open to the healing rhythms of nature, and reconnect at a deep and abiding level with the wisdom that lives in this reconnection. The health of our bodies, which is so front and center in these times, is just one of many! For more on this Course, and to meet my colleague, Dr Cynthia Bergh whom I am co-teaching with, please check out a this short video:

“The knowledge and wisdom that Ellen and Cynthia share is palpable and so able to be embodied by everyone in the course. The direct access to the teachings and practices they so generously and fully share brings forth a powerful experience. I feel like a different person, moving more and more toward my heart. My connection and desire to be in nature has returned. I am so grateful. The connections developed during this course have brought forth a different sense of capacity – a fullness and deeper sense of wholeness. A love like no other. I couldn’t wait to be together with everyone each week.Do not hesitate to take this course. It is transformational, life changing, and all heart!”
-Stephanie Clement

Full Course Description is here: (scroll down on this page)
Please note scholarship rates for those in need, and Bring-A-Friend Discounts too!

– Ellen

Farm Doins
We had a lot of fun on Tuesday, first taking down the tomato stakes in the west field and putting them away. By Friday we were able to bring the layers over to clean up the clover undersow in the west field. Once they have passed completely through with one house length per day we will plant an  overwinter crop of rye, vetch and perennial legumes. Then we brought in a bunch of soil and planted lettuce starts in our house greenhouse for winter enjoyment. Finally we threshed our red kidney beans that we had harvested a month ago. We made cider twice this week, the first batch going toward 15 gallons of vinegar and the second toward 50 quarts of canned apple juice. Thursday we moved the pigs to another area of the woods. Friday we got the layers successfully moved across the street from the pond field to the west, minus one house. And the turkeys moved from the south and garden into the pond hayfield and the pond garden. Aside from picking for the CSA, we didn’t accomplish much in the way of vegetative management. I was sorry to hear from Cathleen that she will be leaving us at the end of October. We were able to enjoy her throughout the pandemic as her work in the theatre world had come to a screeching halt.

Diversity video (click to watch on Instagram,1), Bringing the chicken tractors into place in the west field (2), We brought the chickens for each house over in the Subaru (3), Turkeys moving through the pond veg field’s spent crops (4), The cider take on Thursday with garlic for prepping into garlic powder (5), Threshing (click to watch on Instagram, 6), Anthony weed whacking for the pig fence (7), New working shareholder Kerry (8), Ari and John riding back from picking for the CSA (9), Lettuce for winter (10), Sweet potatoes curing while lettuce awaits planting (11), We say goodbye to Dustin, the master wood box stacker! Farewell, Dustin (12), Katrina and her mom on Sunday (13)

Check Instagram for more videos – we took a lot this week.