“I can get by with a little help from my friends” – McCartney/Lennon

Sometimes I think that the Beatles were more importantly philosophers than songwriters! I could spend an entire year riffing off of their lyrics for this rag. Today I want to talk about Randy Buck, who appeared in last week’s newsletter. Intent on getting the hoops back in place on our “blue” house before returning to Missouri, Randy was well on the way as our GC and head construction engineer the week of December 27, but this past week he was only able to work on Monday before he came down with Covid. He and Holly had planned to return to MO on January 14, but with Covid, which the entire family eventually got, plans changed, family visits here were cancelled, and in true Randy fashion making lemonade out of lemons, Randy noted, “Now I have more time to finish this project.” So I took over as main conduit and task master for the project this past week with Randy advising me via text from his bed. Saturday when I came home for lunch from band practice, Randy was taking a short nap to gather enough strength to get the side boards bolted together so that we can hopefully raise those hoops into place on Monday when we have more crew. This is the attribute that I appreciate in this friend – doggedness, along with diligence and responsibility, of course. I write this on Sunday and Randy does plan to work a few hours in the freezing rain to progress the project to the next step. I spend a lot of my observational time watching and pondering the folks in my world and gaining inspiration from what for them is just part of business as usual. Thank you Randy, for modelling stick-to-it-ive-ness for me.

Randy left me marching orders on Monday evening.


Natural Dog Wormer
Got worms, or perhaps does your dog have worms? You can tell if they do by watching whether they scoot along the ground on their butts. They are trying to scratch, I believe. I mentioned it to Holly the other day and she sent this marvelous link. Skippy, Franny and Dingo usually get an egg each day, so I think I will grind up our pumpkin seeds and mix it in. The cats can benefit from that too. Thanks, Holly! https://www.canine.care/nutrition/save-your-pumpkin-seeds-a-natural-dewormer


Julie to present at NOFA/Mass Winter Conference on 15

Okay, so I haven’t actually put the workshop together yet, but rest assured it will be all ready by Saturday, January 15 when it happens at 4 pm. You can register for the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference here – https://www.nofamass.org/event/2022-winter-conference/

Maximizing Diversity for Ultimate Crop Health
How can small farms sequester carbon and rainwater while flavorful, nutrient-density food? Julie Rawson will present on the successes and challenges of Many Hands, a 39 year old no-till farm raising 2 acres of vegetables, 100 fruit trees, pigs and poultry. 2021 was a banner year for diverse cover crop and poultry post-harvest integration. It was also one of the wettest years they’ve experienced in decades. Julie will walk through the ins and outs of no-till, foliar mineral and biological sprays and making peace (and tinctures and teas) with the perennials that thrive in our system.

Job Opening at MHOF
We are enjoying interviewing folks for this job. The position is still open as we get closer to a match.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
New Prices for 2022
CSA – these increases will help pay for improved salaries for our staff in 2022
  • Large share- $750
  • Medium share – $500
  • Small share – $375
  • Fall share – $140

Delivery – stays the same at $2/week

Thanks to Heather for signing up for the CSA this week. Your investment now in the CSA which may seem so far away in June, helps us keep paying the bills to keep this farm going. https://mhof.net/community-supported-agriculture/

Pork – This is a hard one with organic stock very expensive and slaughter costs annually rising. Not sure on feed prices
Fresh frozen cuts – $12/lb.
Smoked and uncured ham and bacon – $18/lb.
Meat chicken – $7.50/lb. – our margin of profit was too low in 2021 and this will help improve our bottom line
Turkeys – staying the same at $6/lb.
Eggs – staying the same at $8/dozen
Old layers – staying the same at $15 each

https://www.cornucopia.org/scorecard/organic-poultry-scorecard/  – we moved up to 2nd place nationally for poultry production according to Cornucopia Institute! But just so you know, we are not soy free, despite me asking them to correct that.

Ham, Bacon and Frozen Pork Available.
These smoked meats are wonderful cuts that we had processed with a natural uncured system using celery juice from VT Packing House – https://vermontpackinghouse.com/our-services/. We now have bacon in 1 lb. packages and hams ranging from 2+ to 4+ lbs. available for sale. The price on these items is $18/lb. And we still have some ground pork, regular style ribs and a handful of roasts at $12/lb. Last week Jennifer commented that she just feels so much better now that she has switched to our meat.
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. Once we get into CSA season, working shareholders will receive a large share in exchange for their labors. Enquire. Paula joined us with a star performance on Friday in the snow, pick ax in hand. And here is a note I received from Stu, who will be making his re-entry on Friday – “I hope everyone has recovered.  I plan on coming out next week to refill the wood box as soon after my arrival as possible.”
Paula with pick axe in hand.
Health Tip
Hibiscus flowers go into our morning tea each day. And here is why I chose them – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hibiscus-tea-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9
Jack and Julie discuss and demonstrate how to make our flax/chia crackers.  Click on picture for video.
Covid Corner
January 2 on Face the Nation, former FDA commissioner and new Pfizer executive Scott Gottlieb – thanks to Jeff Childers, Coffee and Covid –
“DR. GOTTLIEB: Cloth masks aren’t going to provide a lot of protection, that’s the bottom line. This is an airborne illness. We now understand that, and a cloth mask is not going to protect you from a virus that spreads through airborne transmission. It could protect better through droplet transmission, something like the flu, but not something like this coronavirus.”Joe Hogan interview with Dr. Peter McCullough on December 8, 2021 (episode 1747) – lots of food for thought here – Thanks to Dan Leak https://open.spotify.com/episode/1v884aTc6iNDpUmtfUCuHdhttps://worldcouncilforhealth.org/resources/spike-protein-detox-guide/ – detoxing from Spike Protein – Thanks to Ellen Kittredge

A talk with Paul Kingsnorth and Charles Eisenstein – thanks to Dan Leak

An article by Cory Zhu, Stephanie Senneff’s son – a perspective from someone who lives in South Africa – thanks to Laurie Lentz-Marino
Dr. Robert Malone on Why not to vaccinate children for Covid – I originally found this interview on Dr. Mercola’s Daily digest – https://www.mercola.com/ – Here is the interview https://www.trunews.com/stream/dr-robert-malone-mrna-inventor-says-don-t-vaccinate-children

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. holy basil, burdock, 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
  6. 2 ounce jars of calendula salve – $10 each
  7. garlic powder – $10/2 ounce – one more batch of this to make this week
  8. frozen lard – $20/quart – presently out of stock, but we may pick up some fat back from another certified farm and be back in business soon
  9. frozen pork stock – $7.50/quart
  10. frozen chicken stock – $7.50/quart
  11. frozen pork cuts –regular ribs, ground pork and roasts – $12/lb.
  12. ham and bacon – $18/lb.

Farm Doins

We moved all of our chicken tractors into their winter quarters on Monday.

Cameron and Candido enjoy a chauffeured ride by Clare to our next house. Sadly Stetson is on Lockdown again because of Covid so we won’t see the guys for awhile.

First we peeled and food processed the garlic, then dried it overnight in the Excalibur on these nylon sheets. Then we food processed them again and voila – garlic powder.

Wednesday, Clare and Julie passing firewood in close quarters so we can dry the paint for the hoophouse project in the fireplace which you can’t see in the foreground.

While it rained outside, Clare, Leslie, Laurie and I painted to beat the band, four coats on these and another 11 boards that were strewn all over the basement.

Job applicant Randy (a different one) and I raced to get the cinder blocks laid in the hoop house foundation on Thursday.

But we didn’t get quite done. Here are Clare and Paula working toward the golden spike.


Paula’s last test before we sign her on as a working shareholder. Can she stir soap while eating lunch?


Have a wonderful week!