This week I happened upon Joe Vitale (“Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More”), who is a strong proponent for Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono means ‘to make things right‘. It is a prayer and a Hawaiian practice for forgiveness. It is a powerful mantra for giving you a clean slate. According to Ho’oponopono, everything that is your reality is something perceived by your mind. Your connections, the people you know are affected by your inner-self.
I was reminded of all the best things that I have taken from Christianity when reading this book. I started out on my spiritual journey there, specifically in the Methodist Church, known for social activism. There are four statements that one can make, over and over (addressing the divine).

  1. I love you
  2. I am sorry
  3. Please forgive me
  4. Thank you

These are great as a generic mantra, but are particularly of value when one comes upon something or someone who is irritating, or is suffering. Using this mantra as a way to look at your inner feelings with respect to this situation helps you resolve your issues around it and it often helps the other person too. Try it 1000 times this week and see what happens. It can be all said in your mind, by the way.


Chicken Tidbits
Chicken eyes have four cones that let them see red, blue, green and ultraviolet light, whereas humans only have three cones to see red, blue and green light, with only around 25 % of humans having a fourth cone to enable them to see colors more accurately. This interesting tidbit was sent to me by Kathy Landry, who also sent an article about how to make a saddle apron for hens – https://hellosewing.com/chicken-apron-hen-saddle-pattern/


Keep those CSA Shares Coming
I received a very heartwarming phone call on Friday evening. Last year, due to the efforts of Ari Nicholson, we started donating shares to the Worcester Community Fridges. Many of you donated financially so that we could donate 10 shares each week to this very grassroots organization that keeps refrigerators stocked in 3-4 locations in Worcester for anyone who wants food to come by and take it. One of the organizers called me to say that they were so grateful for our donations that this year they are going to fundraise from businesses to buy shares from participating farmers, and they will also come out and pick them up!
Individual subscriptions took a bit of a dip this week. We are still actively selling our shares. You can sign up here – https://mhof.net/community-supported-agriculture/  Remember that we now have pick up sites in Barre, the Barre Health Center, Holden twice, Worcester, Princeton, Gardner, Shrewsbury, and Sutton.

One of our customers at the Community Fridges – September 3, 2021

August 16 share, 2021


A quote from one of our shareholders last season: 
It may be hyperbolic to say that a CSA share can be life changing, but I may say it anyway. Knowing that each week a bag full of fresh produce was coming my way has completely changed the way I eat and shop. My cooking changed to accommodate what I had on hand – expanding our palates and habits. I find myself searching out other local ingredients to compliment the wonderful produce. We have gone from ordering out at least once a week to ordering out once a month. Also, have you ever tried a really fresh radish? Worth a share for that experience alone. 


Food Corner:  Lettuce
A well-known bitter green that shareholders received last season for 21 of the 22 weeks.  We grow several varieties of lettuce.

Lettuce is mostly recognized as the main part of salads, goes with any sandwich or wrap.  But did you know you can cook with it?  It goes well in soups and can be grilled.  It is a good source of Vitamin K, which helps to strengthen bones.  It contains Vitamin A known to protect eye health.  We eat salads everyday using our lettuce during lunch at the farm.



Ellen’s Spring Cleanse
Ellen’s Spring Rejuvenation Cleanse begins in April. Join now for the early bird discount. All details here: https://ellenkittredge.com/cleanse.php


Working Shareholders
We had three new volunteers this week. Jhoanne came on Wednesday and Cathy and Mike worked on Friday. Thanks to Leslie and Kerri for these hook ups. Starting in April Clare and I are looking to add some Thursday working shareholders who are particularly into heavy work – like hoeing and bed prep. By May we will have openings for Tuesdays also. These are slots for high performers. Enquire.
– https://mhof.net/volunteer-at-mhof/ .



Mike, and I quote, “I love chicken shit”



Good Local Maple Syrup
Our syrup is a small family operation. We primarily tap in West Orange along the Millers River Valley.  We currently have syrup in tins, quart mason jars, plastic, and 1/2 liter glass jugs.
Tins and quarts are 20 each
1/2 liter jugs are 10 each.
We have all grades in stock from fancy to dark.
Folks can call or text me to make arrangements to purchase syrup.
Thank you
Travis Knechtel


On Farm videos on this and that


Franny and Skippy discussing ownership of the rat they found.

Finishing up stacking the load of 5 cords of wood.

Franny burying the rat for later consumption.

Chickens now on pasture.


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 girls are now back on pasture
  2. holy basil, burdock, in 2 ounce bottles – $12
  3. 2 ounce jars of comfrey salve – $10 each
  4. 2 ounce jars of hemp salve – $10 each
  5. 2 ounce jars of calendula salve – $10 each
  6. garlic powder – $10/2 ounce
  7. frozen pork stock – $7.50/quart
  8. frozen chicken stock – $7.50/quart
  9.  frozen pork cuts –regular ribs, ground pork and roasts – $12/lb.
  10.  ham and bacon – $18/lb.


Opening for Director of Communications at Many Hands Organic Farm – https://mhof.net/

Jennifer has graduated to having a very successful business of her own and can no longer give our job the time it needs. This move is in the same category as folks who once belonged to the CSA transitioning to raising their own food. A victory all around. Best wishes to you Jennifer, and thanks for sticking around as our Athol delivery site.

As a director of communications at Many Hands Organic Farm you will be the support person for logistics of a 100 person CSA, organic pork & poultry operation, and the Many Hands Sustainability Center – the farm’s sister non-profit. Your weekly tasks might include editing and sending our weekly newsletter, promoting our products on social media, managing the farm database and dealing with customers, and delivery details. The position includes management and updating of the website and supporting Julie in various office tasks for the farm, along with tech support. Creativity in our marketing is encouraged, and we love new ideas for how to promote our products as well as our farming and homesteading education.

Necessary job skills and tasks:
– Data management – Microsoft Access, Excel, Mailchimp, Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Photos
– Excellent written and verbal communication skills
– Collaborate with farm staff to update social media and photograph our farming operation (Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor).
– Marketing plan creation and execution – self-starters that are always looking ahead are encouraged to apply.
– WordPress website upkeep
– Basic PC proficiency so as to support farm staff with technical troubleshooting

Salary: negotiable + 26 week vegetable share
Hours: 7 – 10 hours per week, based on season
Most hours can be completed remotely, but the ability to come to the farm as needed for meetings and technical support (once every 1-2 weeks) is preferred. Please send your resume to Julie Rawson at  Julie@mhof.net. Feel free to call 978-257-1192 if you would like to talk about the job.


Farm Doins
On the garage this week we mostly reconnoitered, received siding and construction wood for the brooder house and did a little demo.

Monday we made the long slog up to the NW corner of our property with 4 chicken tractors which we then filled with our almost 100 layers. That was preceded by offing the roosters, who had proved to be dangerous to the human beings on the farm. Sorry guys. The layers were bent out of shape for a couple of days, but are now pretty much back up to pre-pasture production. And they are no longer taking apart our front lawn and blueberry patch.

Then there was the cleaning out of the winter chicken house which proceeded over 3 days. Jonathan gets a few gold stars for being the major architect of this job.

And we received a 5 cord load of wood on Wednesday and through the efforts of many had it stacked by the end of the morning on Friday.

Chuk started out by replacing a broken slider in the basement and ended up reframing all of our basement windows. Stu helped him on Friday. The place is showing threatening aspects of suburbanization!

The tarps blew off last week and we spent some time on Wednesday getting them back in place.

Clare, Jonathan and I did the final 2 hour hoeing push to get the orange house in shape for planting chard and kale next week. And Friday we moved all of our seedlings back into the greenhouse in preparation for very cold nights coming up early week.

We almost finished the pond orchard pruning – 3 trees to go

If you are a local you can catch my gardening talk tonight, at the Haston Free Library in North Brookfield at 6:30 pm.