Provide the right conditions for all the microbes to work together – Christine Jones

It is fascinating what is coming to light regarding what is happening beneath our feet. I was re-listening to Christine Jones’ fascinating talk presented for the Green Cover Seed folks last year (sent to me by our latest job applicant who will come and formally interview Saturday) and was reminded about this lesson and how it can manifest for human beings too, above the ground. She talks of making sure you have diversity of plants above ground in order to set the microbes below ground up for success in their socio-biome. Is there a lesson there for us? I have spent a lot of my life trying to get over wanting to be around only folks who are just like me, it being more comfortable it seems, to live in my “echo chamber.” Diverse teams in the microbial world always work better than similar individuals working together. This “multi-cultural” teamwork, it seems, is what provides the best results in the agricultural system. Let’s hear it for diversity – of species, of thought, of behavior! You can catch this talk on Nitrogen by Christine Jones and the other 3 in the series here –


Never too early to join the CSA
I am sure it seems a long time away, but when you put some of your money down now, we can continue to pay our bills and you are assured a spot in our 22-26 weeks of outstanding produce – vegetables of all sorts, herbs and tree fruit. You can sign up here –  Thanks to the three folks who signed up this week!

This week I enjoyed signing up a SNAP customer for the CSA. For folks who receive SNAP benefits, it is possible to use those benefits to pay for the CSA and also receive money back into one’s account through the HIP program to buy more vegetables. This wonderful program has made the highest quality food available to more folks. Enquire here to learn more.

CSA share on June 26, 2021


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. Presently we are putting up hoop houses and will soon move to fruit tree pruning. Once we get into CSA season, working shareholders will receive a large share in exchange for their labors.

New opportunity this year – In an attempt to be more fiscally sustainable, we have cut back on our paid staffing. One of the areas where this will impact us is in our daily early morning foliar feeding with a 3 ½ gallon gasoline powered back pack mister. We could use up to two working shareholders who would love to arrive here around 6:15 to spray a field or orchard with our nutritional mix (all certified organic and non-toxic). The job will conclude between 7 and 7:15 with breakfast at the end. Barter pay to be determined. You need a strong back, and it would be helpful if you have some skill in operating and  sometimes fixing small gasoline engines if it clogs up or fails to start on your day.

Paula getting into her work.

Circle of Song did start on February 3
And we had a marvelous time. And you can join for another couple of weeks. But be sure to put our May 14 concert at 7 pm at the Barre Town Hall on your calendar!

Job Opening at MHOF
Yes, this is still open!

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 or call 978-355-2853. Check us out at Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge

Lyme and the Buhner Protocol

Jack and I spent this past week compiling the long list of ingredients for the Buhner protocol for Lyme. Scheduling ingesting of everything is like putting together a train schedule out of Chicago! Here is a recipe for an herb drink to be drunk twice per day in juice.
Fatigue Formula
2 parts each of these powdered herbs

  • Spirulina
  • Milk thistle
  • Licorice – this needs to be rested after about 6 weeks
  • Astragalus
  • Turmeric
  • Dandelion root
  • Nettle leaf

1 part each of these powdered herbs

  • Chlorella
  • Burdock root
  • Ashwagandha
  • Eleutherococcus
  • Bladderwrack
  • Dried wheatgrass

Mix all of this together and then mix ¼ cup with juice and drink twice per day

Not surprisingly, I received a bunch of emails from friends and subscribers about Lyme. Talk about a pandemic. Here from Jim –


I’d like for you to investigate Japanese Knotweed for Lyme treatment, here’s a web based primer…

I take a knotweed extract added to tea whenever I find a tick attached or when the tick population explodes and they are everywhere.  I have Lyme phobia and don’t want to deal with any of the symptoms, ever.

If interested we have a knotweed tincture made with alcohol, don’t know if this is acceptable for Jack with the alcohol extraction.  We should also have some frozen plant spears.  These are collected in the spring like asparagus spears.  I may have shared some with you one spring.  There are many ways to cook and it’s hard to detect when added to food (not bitter like the raw plant).  Dried herb should also be available from reputable herb sources. 

Please take care to research potential side effects.  Only one I’m aware of is potential bleeding, so it’s not good for someone taking blood thinners.

I also have a few books by Steven Harrod Buhner you can borrow,  Herbal Antivirals and  Healing Lyme , which you’re aware of.

Your farming friend,

Jim StLaurent

On Farm videos on this and that

Clare explains our seed soak.


Peanut Butter Balls Part 1

Peanut Butter Balls Part 2

Soaking and drying nuts.

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, 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
  8. frozen pork stock – $7.50/quart
  9. frozen chicken stock – $7.50/quart
  10.  frozen pork cuts –regular ribs, ground pork and roasts – $12/lb.
  11.  ham and bacon – $18/lb.

Farm Doins
We started off the week with a bang when Stetson folks returned after a Covid holiday. We were able to empty out the growing boxes in the greenhouse (dumping the potting soil into the soon to be rebuilt blue house), and organized the garage for a grain order that we got on Thursday. We spent a lot of time digging out in front of the garage to avoid a flood into same, making peanut butter balls, putting away boards to be used in hoop house construction that have been painted and prepped, digging out potting soil from the big bag in the garage (wow does that freeze solid!), ordering more things, making lard, the end of the chicken stock, etc. We called off work on Friday because of the ice storm that was not as bad as predicted.

Cleaning out the boxes of soil.

The ride over to dump the dirt – it always tickles me to see boys of any age and their fascination with machinery (is that a sexist statement?)

Gary dumping soil.

Skippy turned one this week.

Franny, Skippy and Dingo hanging out in the rain on Friday – “Where are all of our playmates today?”


Any outside work that is accomplished in February is a blessing. Next week is looking good for getting more progress on our final hoop house.