The abuse that farmers sometimes have to take from their volunteer staff…

Worker St: Wife Pat wants something green; do you have anything green this week?

Owner J: Well, yes we do, but you will have to go pick it. Will you go out and get a bunch of chives for both you and Sc? Really though, St, you are only entitled to a dozen eggs.

Worker Sc: I want to talk about these eggs we get; that is exactly 3 eggs per hour. I would like mine delivered to me once each hour so I can see what I am really earning for all this work, which includes getting eaten alive by black flies!

Worker St: Hold on, this egg carton says ‘incomplete’. Does this mean we aren’t even getting a whole dozen of eggs anymore?

Owner J: Now, St, look inside the recycled box that we use (you do support recycling I suppose) and see that there are indeed 12 eggs in your box. Sorry that there aren’t any blue ones (I know Pat loves them), but we don’t have that kind of chickens anymore.

Worker Sc showing off black fly bites

Worker Sc: (muttering) I am going to have to take all of this up with my lawyer…

Jack and Julie Book Deal

What!  A book?

Yes, gentle reader. Largely through your efforts and support, we have been asked to write a book!

Chelsea Green, an agricultural publisher in Vermont, has asked us to write about our history as individuals and a couple, with a special emphasis on the farm. I guess the level of community support for MHOF is pretty unique for a private farm, and they want us to explain it.

What this means practically is that one day when you are volunteering here Jack may ask you why in the world you are doing it. Or Julie may strike up a conversation about what, if anything, you have learned here and if that has changed anything in your life.

Help us puzzle out this question before our deadline hits (sometime early in 2023) and we are expected to have all the answers! – Jack (and Julie)

‘Double’ Your Fridge Donation

This year, as in 2021, we will be providing shares to community refrigerators on the streets throughout Worcester. The produce is free for anyone who wants it from refrigerators available 24 hours a day. Last year generous donors helped us by paying for ten such shares.

This year we have a commitment from Worcester Community Fridges to pay for seven such shares ($515 per share through the fall) and we would like to raise enough in donations from our members to double that. Whatever you can give will be welcome and put toward shares. Please make any check payable to MHSC (it can be tax deductible for you this way) and note it is for “Community Fridges”.

Or donate directly here through Paypal – https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=LSWR5U4EET7SW

This all came about when Maria Ravelli called us up last month to thank us for donating to the Community Fridge program in 2021. She let us know that their volunteers would be fundraising for shares this year from local businesses and that they wanted to spend some of their earnings with us. Read more about them here in Christy’s press release. I am particularly impressed by these folks because in a volunteer fashion they are taking the food insecurity issue in hand and connecting farmers and consumers directly – no red tape. How elegant.

Donate to MHSC

Personal Health Tips

Dandelion Fritters

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dandelion flowers, freshly harvested
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups lard or frying oil of choice

Directions

  1. Rinse dandelions in cool water, drain.
  2. Heat lard or other oil in a frying pan to 375 degrees.
  3. Mix cornmeal, arrowroot powder, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and milk. Stir until combined.
  4. Add dandelion flowers one at a time and cover in batter.
  5. Add to hot oil and fry for about 90 seconds.
  6. Flip flowers and fry for an additional 30 seconds.
  7. Remove from oil and allow to cool. Enjoy.

Download Recipe

Lifewave Patches

I have been tinkering with these Lifewave patches for the past 6 months, led by daughter Ellen, and I think it is time to let you know about it, should you be interested. My most valuable take away from them is improved focus, motivation, ability to accomplish what I set out to do, and 2-3 clicks higher on ebullient happiness.

She’s been using this modality to get her life and health fully back from a chronic illness. It’s also been helping many of her clients, specifically with:

  • Significant reductions in pain
  • Lasting and stable energy
  • Better sleep
  • Support with weight loss and fat burning
  • Support with wound repair
  • Improvements in immune function
  • Improvements in detoxification
  • Cessation of anxiety
  • Shifting moods to more positive/happy state

+++TIME SENSITIVE OFFER+++

Ellen is co-hosting with another colleague a series of free classes starting on May 16 to help anyone who wishes to try this modality learn to use it.

Please take a listen to the recorded call to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okYBdcpAchs

After listening, you can email her ([email protected]) if you’d like to join in for the free classes. It’s fine to jump in for the classes after they’ve begun. All will be recorded and shared.

Agricultural Education from MHOF

Potatoes

In 2019 we had the most fantastic bug free potatoes of all time. I was certain that I had finally figured out the perfect balance of cultural practices, fertility, hilling, weekly sprays, etc. to accomplish the almost 5 pounds per plant that we harvested. Alas the next two harvests were one or two steps above abysmal.

But the wonderful thing about farming and farmers is that we have very short memories and hope springs eternal in our breasts. So this year, ready to take the potato world by storm we made our plans. Around April 1 we hoed any greenery out of our potential patch and then broadcasted field peas and oats. This past Friday we cleared a strip of cover crops, dug holes every two feet or so, put in a cup of our fertilizer, sprayed them with our transplant drench, dropped in the potatoes and covered them over.  I will report on this work in progress and see what happens by year’s end.

March 31 prepping soil for potatoes

Nice cover of oats and peas with some dandelions and grass which were easy enough to clear away.

Laurie spreading fertilizer in holes.

Potatoes in holes.

Opportunities from MHOF

It is not too late to join the CSA

Shares are rolling in as we reach the finish line. Don’t tarry. We start in just 2 weeks.

Clare and I are praying that this lettuce will be in your initial share. With this marvelous weather we are having, it is looking promising.

Join the CSA

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

All of a sudden our Friday working shareholder day has significantly depopulated. So, looking for folks right now particularly for Fridays, but we can talk about other days also. See below for details.

Volunteer at MHOF

Free Stuff this Week

We have free seedlings again this week.

Leeks, Chard, Brussels Sprouts, Collards and Parsley

Farm Doin’s

We had another strong week of accomplishments in the planting realm. We cleared off and planted 5 beds of collards and kale with Stetson folks, Danny, Peter and Debbie.

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Then on to finishing up the west field open areas with 4 beds of cabbage with Paula. Next we prepped 8 beds and planted 6 to leeks with our big Wednesday crew of Laurie, Debbie, CJ, Aidan, Kerri, Leslie, Meghan and Arlo.

The many hands that helped plant our leeks this week

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On Thursday Clare and Scott and I finished the leeks and got 4 beds of Brussels sprouts in while Jonathan and Stu worked assiduously on the garage project, now prepping for siding. With Friday’s potato work and John and Jonathan advancing the garage, Chuk finished up that project for the week with a new side door to replace the very ratty one.

On a more personal note, Jack and I hosted 31 Kittredge’s for Thanksgiving in May on Saturday followed by our Circle of Song spring concert. It was a full week.

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