Pushing Oneself

Well, I wish I hadn’t been born that way, sometimes, when I feel this excessive need to strive, to try harder, to be willing (Scott Peck made a wonderful juxtaposition between willfulness and willingness – that statement in his great self-help book titled The Road Less Travelled saved my life) to reach the next rung on the ladder.

I have spent my life sorting out this internal pushiness that I was blessed with, learning how to not push others, but instead lead. And at the same time learning how to lead myself rather than pushing (it takes so much less energy!). When I started thinking of myself as willing rather than willful, it turned what I thought was a deficit into an attribute, and the personal growth was able to really flourish.

Right now I have a deadline to be able to sing a bunch of high G’s, Ab’s, A’s and Bb’s (and do so beautifully and clearly) by December 3 when our chorus, the Circle of Song sings part of the Brahms Requiem among other beautiful numbers. When I think about our small but mighty chorus of truly unique and high performing individuals and how we have always taken on just a few steps more difficulty in our selections than one might think we could reasonably perform well, I am grateful.

Last week Minnie fell down the Town Hall stairs backwards and cracked her head open. As we sat there around her on the cement waiting for the EMT, I pondered the power of this wonderful woman from South Barre, just turned 91, who is really an icon for us with her can do attitude. Nancy noted to me after visiting Minnie on Sunday, just out of the hospital, that she Minnie fully planned to drive herself to the Health Center on Tuesday, which she did.

A long time ago I decided to surround myself with people who have that unique inner drive to accomplish all that they can be. The good news is that those folks are all around us and we can learn from them how to better become totally ourselves. For right now, I will sing more and higher (one Bb at a time) so that I can do right by Brahms on December 3. You can come and hear us at the Barre Congregational Church that night at 7 pm.


CSA Update – Week 3 of 5
Last Week – Monday pick up only on November 22
Week 3 best guess of what we will get

The fall share takes place only on Monday and Wednesday, so if you were in the summer share, be sure to read the emails I have been sending so you pick up on the correct day and location. For those of you who had small (red bag) or medium (blue bag) shares, please note that all the fall shares are one size and they might turn up in any color bag. Look for your tag with your name on it.

Though it frosted every night last week, we covered yet more crops with row cover and they seem to be holding firm. This next week proves to be a warmer one with nights soon around 40 and highs of high 50s. Let the bounty continue – average bag size on week two was 11 lbs.

  • 3 leeks
  • Bunch of carrots
  • 1 Asian of one sort or another- bok choi, tatsoi, Chinese cabbage
  • Kale
  • Collards – these are the best looking collards I have seen in some time
  • Arugula
  • Parsley
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Endive
  • kohlrabi
  • Cilantro
  • potatoes
  • Jerusalem artichokes – these can be sliced thinly for salad or cooked in a root mash – careful, some call them fartichokes – sorry that we ran out of time last week and didn’t give you these
  • 4 pears


The carrots are starring right now.

Last week’s share.

A leek peeling party.

Celery protected under remay.


Fan Mail

Hi Julie,

I’m enjoying a cup of your wonderful cider as I type this – really delicious and crisp and refreshing – just about perfect!  Thank you!!  Emily picked it up with our share today – one of us (hopefully me) will come to drop off money for it in the next day or so.
Thank you for this bit of fall perfection in a cup!

Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoy your missives. A definite high note in my inbox. We are new CSA subscribers and, two weeks in are so happy with the improvements to our kitchen lives. The arugula is always the first to get eaten, doesn’t even make it into the fridge. The carrots are divine. The sage, fennel and eggplant went on a sourdough pizza on Saturday and the kale made an amazing soup with lentils and some beef marrow bones we had in the freezer. The apples and pears got sauced together tonight and immediately.

We are very grateful for the work you do. Having lived the farm life in the past, I know the toil it entails and know the small price we pay for the share doesn’t begin to cover the hours of labor that goes into it. For that we thank you!

Side note, I ran cross country at Quabbin with your kids in the 90s and have always admired your family, not only because of how fast they all were. 

Best wishes!

Erin (Cameron and Grace)
I had the lovely impression yesterday that the lunch we all shared together was an early November Thanksgiving!. The weather was fantastic. And the shared meal, though impromptu as to the mix of people, was glorious.

I was so charmed and as I looked around, of course none of us were in the presence of our families as we would be on Thanksgiving, but I thought there was no rancor and dicey family dynamics and unpopular cranky uncle, that can happen on Thanksgiving.

I am SO blessed this year to have newly met everyone. And meeting another new person, Rocky, was fabulous yesterday too!

My family of origin is a source of beauty and love and of course my family with Joe, and all the extended family of our combined in-laws and our son-in-law David is a source of the utmost joy in my life.

The family at the Farm is of my choosing though and it is another emergent blessing and esteemed associations with my new friends altogether wonderful and fills me with awe. I can’t imagine the height of fortune that this past 7 months has afforded me- well I wouldn’t change a microsecond of it.

Kindness and compassion and extreme happiness that I have been invited in to be a part of the MANY HEARTS ORGANIC FARM on Sheldon St in Barre

In Peace, Veritas Laurie


Pre-Order your 2022 CSA Share
Wow, three folks have signed up already, and another is about to. It is not a marketing gimmick that we note that we might raise our prices next year; we just haven’t had enough time to look at our budgetary needs for next year. But finances on a farm in this country in this time are always iffy. I will feel better about getting several loads of wood chips, perhaps some more rock dust, or 20 bales of mulch straw if we can bring in some more money this fall before the turn of the year.

Thus we are offering pre-orders for 2022 CSA shares now. Put down a full payment, half payment, or $150 deposit to guarantee your spot in our 2022 CSA. We may raise prices in 2022 for our CSA shares, but we haven’t made a determination of that yet. If you order in this calendar year and put down a down payment you can be assured of this price. Order here: https://mhof.net/csa-order-form/


Only 35 turkeys left
The turkeys are now enjoying the best grass and comfrey and forbes that our very fertile orchard has to offer. This past week we separated them once again and now have 11 mobile pens of birds. And because the water system has frozen every night this past week we have been having lots of fun hauling water from the well! Tis the season of frosty nights.  And on Sunday night last week we had a mini slaughter. I guess the coyotes are getting hungrier this time of year. Our stalwart dogs – Franny, Dingo and Skippy – are taking the situation in hand and are now stationed out by the houses all night. I pay them off with dog cookies and a wonderful walk down the road at around 5 an each morning after they go off duty. They are ecstatic. Our Numbers of available turkeys for your purchase are diminishing fast, so if you have been dawdling, I would suggest you get that order to us right away. Fresh for Thanksgiving, $6/lb. https://mhof.net/organic-meat/

Farm store hours
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. – Only 10 left.
  3. dandelion, holy basil, burdock, yarrow and yellow dock tincture in 2 ounce bottles – $12
  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.
  8. garlic powder – $10/2 ounce
  9. Lavender soap – $6/5 ounce bar
  10. Cider in gallons – $15/gallon – we have 5 more gallons available on a first come first served basis. Fall CSA shareholders can order cider with your share and we can deliver to your pick up site if you are not picking up in Barre. You can send a check or pay with paypal here – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qn0P3aDSsNpOnHJzkKqL_Q-Tjae_M34-l40Y1qTEvCY/edit  This is our last pressing for the year, accomplished on Friday. All trees are shook and we are now moving on to our last fruit tree of pears – the giving tree noted earlier which already has dropped 1000 pears and still counting!

1000 pears harvested and counting. (click on the picture to watch video)

Farm Doins
Chores take a long time to accomplish when the water is frozen until about 10 am, so many buckets of water are hauled to the turkeys and chickens. The old layers went on Sunday to meet their maker, however, so all the young girls are a slam dunk for chores. Alicia brought over 3 beautiful gentlemen to service the hen’s needs. We are hopeful that they won’t kill them as they have the previous 6. The 7th, a beautiful Leghorn was killed by Skippy, who is at the moment trying to come to terms with her German shepherd roots. Under dog house arrest regularly and otherwise on a leash and plied into good behavior with dog cookies, she is trying to learn to overcome that part of her killer nature.

Son Chuk, with help from various of us, started and finished a most beautiful set of front steps for us this week. If this kind of rehab keeps up it may look like the suburbs soon! Always a pleasure to have around, he added his bright nature to lunches all week. Thanks, Chuk, for keeping our house in good structural order. He was riding around in a back pack 39 years ago when we built the house. I hadn’t noticed the clipboard and note paper at the time, but I guess he was taking good notes!

Besides more remaying, picking for the CSA, picking up and finishing our last apples of the year, freezing more parsley, collards, and celery slurp for winter, and drying some pears, we have started splitting the garlic for planting – hopefully to be accomplished this upcoming week.

We brought all of our fertility liquids into the house, met with Nathan from AEA to discuss our soil test, and emptied the barn off all of the onions, garlic and squash ahead of the freeze. We welcomed Tom as a newbie this week, and enjoyed Rocky’s presence who was here to help Chuk with the stairs.


Chuk engaged Clare.

John, Maya who I didn’t catch on film.

And Rocky.

What could be more fun than processing pears?

This pig decided to take a stroll on Thursday and stopped for a
pawpaw snack before we “helped” him back into the electric fence.

Our new guy Tom hefting sand bags for holding down the remay.

Do you ever wonder what we talk about at lunch?

This week we started the girls on kelp meal free choice – yet another reason that our eggs are the best.

Stu shaking out the last of the Ben Davises.

Deb at by far her favorite task.