Good Friday

As Maria said it so succinctly on Friday when she breezed in to buy eggs and reconfirm as a working shareholder in 2022, “Happy Good Friday, Easter, Passover, Patriot’s Day, or whatever works for you.” It was such a good Friday here.

Sadie gave birth to 5 kittens* on our bedroom rug at 4 am. Then our old friend Mike Lombard showed up with 4 totes of potting soil (Ideal Compost) and stayed for breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs and vegetables and various sides of sauerkraut, apple and pear sauce. Mike was barely out the door and Laurie came back from vacation and Kerri brought her latest batch of volunteers – Christine, CJ and Aidan, followed by Stu.

Finally, Cindy came to do some learning about organic gardening. Off we went to various and sundry tasks through the morning and then sat down to a lunch for 12, when Maria showed up. After lunch Jack gave me another grape pruning tutorial (I have always been shy to prune grapes) and as soon as Jonathan and Clare had left for the day, our neighbor girls showed up to jump on the trampoline. After a zoom meeting with Christy, Jack and I sat down to our leftovers and enjoyed the movie The Age of Adaline.

I am grateful for the life of abundant human interaction that surrounds us.

Kittens two hours old

Unloading the potting soil – that is Jonathan on the tractor

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Our Western Mass Contingent – Laurie, Kerri, Christine, CJ, Aidan

Cindy, Paula and Aidan stacking wood

This got old after the 3rd tote of wet leaves

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So Clare got out the tractor

The brooder house boys

Personal Health Tips

We did a couple of videos of cooking this week

Scrambled eggs with chives and dandelion greens

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Chili for a crowd

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Quote of the Week

“Whether you think you can or think that you can’t, you are right.” -Henry Ford

Agricultural Education from MHOF

Jack and Clare on grape pruning

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Removing tarps and getting ready for planting

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Wild harvesting yellow dock root for processing into teas and tinctures.

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Preparing beds and planting peas

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Preparing the garden beds and planting onion sets this week

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Transplanting stinging nettles

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More Education

Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Education Center in Orange offers both popular and new workshops this season!

Women Healing Women Healing Earth is their series of gardening, arts, and healing workshops for women. Amazing presenters! Free or by donation, Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Half the spots in each reserved for women who live in the North Quabbin/Central MA region. Here is a beautiful flyer of these wonderful workshops

New! For Ages 20-30:  Building Immersion, Life Tools. Saturday and Sunday July 9 and 10. Are you seeking basic building and tool use, be it as farmer, artist, or to increase your own skill set, be it for a tool shed, tiny house, or simply more self-reliance? Along with plenty of hands-on experience, this weekend workshop includes conversation to envision a bountiful life forward, in a beautiful setting and in community with others. Sliding scale $75- $175. ($250 value). Lunches included, rustic on-site overnight camping possible. Pre-registration required, capped at 15. Email to learn more.

Rich and Healthy: No-till for Successful Farms. Sunday Oct 30, 10am to 5PM. Are you a farmer or market gardener seeking to start or transition to no-till methods that use simple tools, build healthy soil, reduce labor and cost inputs, promote climate resilience and increase your connection to the land? You’ll learn several no-till, climate resilience techniques in this experiential, day-long workshop with seasoned farmer Ricky Baruc and no-till soil science researchers. Sliding scale $60-$90. Space limited, email to register. Lunch included

Learn more about these and other workshops:

Ricky and Deb came over for supper and left us some wonderful popcorn that we enjoyed Tuesday night!

Opportunities from MHOF

Consider joining the MHOF CSA to change the way you eat!

6 weeks and counting until the CSA starts.

If the subscriptions keep up like they came in this week, we will sell out. Don’t be caught without your food!

October 6, 2021

Join the CSA here

Meat Available for Pre-Order

Now is a good time to get your meat orders in to be sure of availability. Thanks to the three folks who sent in orders last week!

Our pigs move around the woods, 2 weeks in one spot until they are off to another area. Once they are free they quickly get those snouts busy plowing up the soil and finding what there is to eat.

Here the pigs on September 23, 2021 are patiently awaiting being let out after their move.

Purchase MHOF meat here

*New Kitten Protocol

Last year we homed 30 kittens, so now the word is out. But this year we don’t have as many kittens, and I don’t want to keep waiting lists, then to find that at least half of the folks on the list have found a kitten elsewhere. So, here is the new plan to keep the bureaucracy to a minimum.

On Monday, May 30 I will open up kitten sales for Sadie’s batch. At that time feel free to contact me on a first come first served basis to place an order. I don’t take orders for specific cats, but ask all interested to show up at the same time and work it out among themselves. Our moms eat organic cat food, then eggs, liver and other organ meats, cod liver oil, pork stock, ground pumpkin seeds (to help with worms), and of course they do a lot of hunting. We don’t do shots and we don’t neuter the kittens. They cost $50 each. They are as tame as we can make them with lots of handling. Thanks.

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

We hosted 4 volunteers this past week, Maria signed up for another year, and Scott is back. Additionally Tonya signed on as a working shareholder. Keep connecting. Shantel and Alexandria are back, and last Sunday Katrina came down from Brattleboro to help with chicken chores.

Scott showing off his big rock!

Alexandria and Shantel planting a sour cherry tree

Breakfast at 7 if you want to come that early, otherwise 8-12 with peanut butter balls at 10 and lunch at the end. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings are all open to more volunteers who will receive a large share in exchange for your work, or a dozen eggs off-season.

Volunteer at MHOF – more info here

Farm Store Hours

Monday-Friday: 12-1 pm
Tuesday: 5-7pm
Friday: 5-7pm

Always call ahead to be sure of supply
(978) 355-2853; (978) 257-1192

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. Tinctures (Holy basil, burdock, yellow dock) – 2 ounce bottles – $12 each

  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.

Free Stuff this Week

We are going to rip out a couple of red raspberry rows. Come by this week 8-3 Monday – Friday to take home some of Mom’s Latham summer berries.

Raspberry canes

Other Opportunities

From a friend regarding diabetes

“I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in late November 2021 with a fasting glucose of 346. I am not sure how long my glucose had been this high, though I had been feeling fatigued for many months. I was already aware of the work of Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist who founded the Toronto Metabolic Clinic, and so wanted to learn more about his take on how to reverse type 2 diabetes. While my primary physician initially suggested that I consider taking metformin, a common pharmaceutical to help lower blood sugar, we agreed that I would try working exclusively with dietary and lifestyle changes first.

Starting in Dec. 2021, I cut out all sugar, and started on a LCHF (low-carb-high-fat) diet eating a balanced diet with a limited number of carbs, good fats, and lots of organic greens. I did intermittent fasting (16:8) every day, with an occasional lengthier fasting period (24-48 hours). In addition, I started to walk more, do exercises with an online fitness trainer, and used some homeopathic and herbal supplements to help support my journey. I also measured my fasting glucose each morning with a glucometer.

I found that two of Dr. Fung’s books – The Diabetes Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting – were invaluable. I also found his videos on reversing diabetes, on understanding metabolic syndrome, and on weight loss very helpful:

In only a couple of weeks of following this protocol, my fasting glucose went down from 346 to 198. Since that time – in only 4 months – I have reached a low of 126, have lost weight (down two sizes of clothing), and feel like I have much more energy. While my fasting glucose is still a little up and down and I’m not completely out of the woods yet, I have learned a lot more about what works for my body and what doesn’t. As Dr. Fung suggests, diabetes is not a “sugar issue”. It’s a metabolic issue. The body needs to learn how to reset itself.

My primary physician is amazed at the results. She has stated that she feels that I’m at last “safer” now, and she no longer feels that pharmaceuticals are necessary at this point, provided I just keep on going with what I’ve been doing so far until my fasting glucose can be more in the normal range consistently.

I would definitely recommend looking into the work of Dr. Jason Fung to anyone who wants to reverse diabetes without taking pharmaceuticals. While each of us is different – and I cannot say for certain what will work for you – what he has to say on the subject has made a great deal of sense to me. It has also helped countless others.

Also, here is a link to the website of Lucy Wyndham-Read, a wonderful online fitness trainer: whose workouts I’ve really enjoyed! Her videos are free, and her exercises can be modified for anyone’s fitness level.”

Farm Doin’s

Work continues on the brooder house with the siding on the back after Jonathan re-sized some window openings to keep our off-site construction boss (yes, that is Chuk) happy.

We did a lot of grape pruning but will have to be content with finishing it this next week – each plant takes a lot of time! We un-tarped the onion field and moved the tarps over to the west field, making hand hoeing less of a priority this week.

We are chipping away at wood stacking, 5 cartloads per day until all 5 cords are safely tucked away in the wood shed.

Friday we were able to finish setting up the drip tape in the houses and we also used up all the rest of our leaves heavily mulching chard and kale in the blue and orange house.

We harvested our first salad from the yellow house on Friday.

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We did a swift business in yellow dock and dandelion harvest, handing out fresh dandelions on Friday and drying both root and leaves for later use.

Peas got planted on Wednesday and 4 of our 12 onion set beds were planted on Thursday. We hoed the chives and started a bunch more lettuce. We also planted some trees that arrived in the mail.

Already we are into the second half of April!