“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.”

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
Albert Einstein

When Jack came to bed and apprised me of an hour and a half youtube he had watched by Iain McGilchrist who has a book titled The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, I realized what the essence of this week’s theme would be. This is about French horns, actually. I have been playing horn for the past 58 years with only very short breaks. I have always been good at the expression, tone quality, intonation piece, but rather shaky when it comes to rhythm and counting. Now I have never been able to remember which side of the brain is supposedly in charge of “the dead stuff” and “the live stuff”. I did know that Jack always has said that he was in charge of the dead stuff and I the live stuff in our joint ventures. And perhaps that is a large part of how we have been able to be live happily ever after having spent 45 years together. Gilchrist so clearly explains the right (intuitive) and left (rational) and makes the compelling case that, guess what, we are more whole when we learn how to integrate them both and call on them equally. Back to the horn – I am gearing up for a very difficult concert on January 9, the Quabbin Alumni Band which as usual, thanks to director Peter Lewis, is full of fast and intricate rhythms. Of late I have been practicing a little more each day with the hopes of actually being able to pull off all of those runs, and do so with the right notes, instead of slopping through them and moving on. I have always known that when I play my horn I am energized and feel more clear in my head, but also my body, and thus perhaps have held on to this avocation since I was 10 because of this. What I am just coming to understand is that practicing the horn is my best way to address the left and right brain with an attempt to even them out and grow more into that holistic person. I suppose we all have those opportunities to even ourselves out to provide more balance and ultimately more happiness in life. Today, I wanted to share my portal in.

Job Opening at MHOF
Many Hands Organic Farm is looking for a full-time farmer. We are a certified organic highly diverse family farm in Barre, MA raising vegetables (2 acres), large and small fruit (1 acre), pigs (8 seasonal), chickens for eggs (175) and meat (250-300), and turkeys (100-150). We focus heavily on carbon sequestering methods on our 55 acres of land and prioritize maximum nutrition and biodiversity and stacking of enterprises. We are no/low till. In Barre for now 40 years, we offer a lot of wisdom and perspective to aspiring farmers looking to gain agricultural understanding. You must be physically strong and have a positive and convivial attitude. Duties include animal, vegetable, fruit management, machine and hand work, carpentry, some chain sawing, sometimes leading volunteers, food preservation and making value added products – you name it, we do it. We start at $15/hour and will pay more depending on experience (and hustle) for 40 hours of work each week (Monday – Friday), with a rare need on weekends. Omnivorous meals (breakfast, lunch and morning snacks) are provided. We are looking to hire as early as February 1 and have work through the year, with fewer hours over the winter months. Apply to farm@mhof.net or call 978-355-2853. Check us out at www.mhof.net. Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge

Pork Cuts and stock
We have made our first round of sales for our pork and have a few cuts left over – ground pork, regular style ribs and roasts. These cuts are $11/lb. and are available until they run out at the farm. We are also making stock from our heads, tails, bones and trim. We boil the parts down for about a day in water with salt and vinegar (from our farm). Then we separate the meat and marrow and puree it with the water it was cooked in. We sell the stock frozen in quart plastic containers for $7.50. It is a marvelous and flavorful stock for soups. We also have chicken stock available for the same price.


Working Shareholders
Thinking about coming out to the farm to volunteer? If you like cold weather, starting with us in the winter can be fun. We are hosting working shareholders on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 8-12, with breakfast and lunch included. Your pay also includes a dozen eggs. Coming on an irregular basis in winter is quite fine. We are always involved in a variety of adventures, and there is a lot of soup stock, lard, soap and salve making besides our outside work. Enquire. Yippee, Paula signed up this past week!


Health Tip
I add this to our tea everyday also, along with the  juniper, nettles, green tea – yucca root. And here are some good reasons why.


Covid Corner

Dear Julie,

As a “scientist who understands viruses” myself, I want to point out that while the weave of a mask is, as you say, much too big to stop the passage of a single virus particle, it is effective at impeding the passage of the respiratory droplets we all release when we cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. In people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, these respiratory droplets are filled with virus particles. The droplets are the main means of viral transmission.  To use your analogy, consider that mosquitoes came in shoeboxes and only in shoeboxes; a chain link fence would do a very good job of keeping them out.

The ability to trap virus-laden droplets is why individual masking is a crucial step in any attempt to slow the spread of virus in our communities. I think the quote below, taken from yesterday’s newsletter, is very misleading.

My best,

“I have read many assertions from scientists who understand viruses that the viruses are so small that masks are totally ineffective for controlling spread. One person made an analogy that stuck with me that suggested that using a mask to be safe from Covid exposure is like putting up a chain link fence to keep mosquitos out. And then there are the studies that show multiple reasons why masking is deleterious to the user.”

Hi Loree,

Thanks for your email. If Covid has done anything, it has caused all of us to read, research, listen and draw our own conclusions in healthy debate. One of my go to sources on this topic is Dr. Zach Bush, and here is a snippet from a conversation that he had with an interviewer on the topic of Viruses, Social Distancing and Face Masks I think it is worth a listen.

So great to hear from you. Julie


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 – we newly added free choice kelp to their now full farm free range lifestyle.
  2. dandelion, holy basil, burdock, yarrow and yellow dock tincture in 2 ounce bottles – $12
  3. frozen certified organic applesauce – just the apples cooked down in water – $7/quart
  4. 2 ounce jars of comfrey salve – $10 each
  5. 2 ounce jars of hemp salve – $10 each – we are making it this week
  6. 2 ounce jars of calendula salve – we are making this in the week ahead also
  7. garlic powder – $10/2 ounce – and one more batch of this to make this week
  8. frozen lard – $20/quart
  9. frozen pork stock – $7.50/quart
  10. frozen chicken stock – $7.50/quart
frozen pork cuts –regular ribs, ground pork and roasts – $11/lb. – supplies waning quickly
Farm Doins
As it should be around the Solstice, it was a short and rather relaxed week on the farm. Regardless, we did get all of the black bags filled with sand picked up and stored on the edges of the field, made another batch of lard and pork stock, wrapped our peppermint soap and made some more lavender, and got the second of our retiring hoophouses down to the ground level. Warm weather will permit us to finalize their deconstruction. And Chuk and Rocky put another inner hand rail on the front porch steps. I got “Feeding Others”, my first chapter, back from the editor, Fern, and now have to do the real work of making my thoughts more clear and cohesive. Damn, I have never written a book . . . . .
Rocky and Chuk working on the handrails.
Carrying bags to the truck.
Jack sifting out lemon seeds for our hummus and guacamole.
And Anthony making the guac.
Taking down the hoophouse.
And carrying it away.
Good luck with all of your New Year’s Resolutions. I haven’t come up with mine yet!