Cooperation is not a matter of following a blueprint

“…cooperation is not a matter of following a blueprint

-J Krishnamurti

…laid down by the State, by the leader of a party or a group, or by any other authority….”

Laurie gave me 3 copies of Krishnamurti’s books Commentaries on Living, parts 1, 2, and 3. I fall asleep with them on the couch on occasion. Each has very short lessons for living and I can usually make it through the 2 or so pages before dropping the book on my face in summer-time exhaustion. I liked this one that I read yesterday as I think about what has seemed to be the political climate over the past 2 or so years. I like his sentiments that suggest we must do our own thinking and evaluating each and every day and choose our actions based on our moral compass first and foremost, and not be followers. I suggest that you get copies of these great little books for a 10-minute inspiration each day to more fully be yourself.

Big 40th Anniversary Party at MHOF
July 3, 2022

Yes, it is only 20 days away now, and we are scurrying to make the farm look like a state park, or at least not a shambles! Please come and celebrate with us. We won’t do a shindig like this again for another 10 years!

Once each decade we have a big party here at Many Hands Organic Farm to celebrate our time here. The clock will tick 40 years on July 3 and we would like to share this day with you. Whether you grew up with one of us, met us in college, worked with us as an organizer/community activist, collaborated with us in the Northeast Organic Farming Association, ate with us in the Barre Food Coop, sold with us at the Barre Farmers Market, did theater with us at Quabbin Regional High School or Barre Players, or play or sing with us in the Quabbin Community Band, Weir Community Band, or Circle of Song, or know us through the farm, either as a volunteer or paid staff member or a customer, we thank you for enriching our lives and would like to reminisce with you on July 3 – 2 pm – 7:30 pm when the bonfire starts. Campers are welcome, but let us know in advance if you would like to do so. We will make a big breakfast on the 4th to sweeten your departure.

Our parties are always pot luck, and of course if you bring something organic, homemade and whole, we particularly appreciate those offerings. We will provide lemonade and encourage you to bring alcoholic refreshment should you so choose.

Somewhere during the day, we would like to hear from past and present farm staff and volunteers about where life has taken you since you left us.

We would love to see you and catch up.

-Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson

Still accepting donations to support Worcester Community Fridges

Thanks go this week to Petra, who volunteered for a day and also donated to this worthy project. We had piles of food to send into Worcester this past week with 13 small shares going in. We can still accept $1400 to fully fund this match with the community fridge folks. Thank you.

To donate 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.

Natural Pest Repellant Systems for Cats and Dogs

Running this one again in case you missed it.

Thought you might find some useful products for the dogs in this article.:

Thanks, Leslie, this is a fantastic article with many resources!

Agricultural Education from MHOF

Okay, I am a bit arrogant and don’t like to air my dirty laundry or my weeds to the viewing public, but this week, I am letting it all hang out so that

  1. In case you wondered whether we have weeds – yes, we do

  2. I figure with all of you rooting for us, we are more likely to get the prescribed work done

  3. Maybe you will want to take a trip to the farm and help out – 4 hours gains you a full share bag, and less will bring you other wonderful gifts

We have made some headway with weeding and mulching the chives

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Yippee, our new truck

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Planting corn

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As it turned out, we got some of the sweet potatoes in on Friday, but hope to finish the job on Monday

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One bed at a time – parsley

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The war with bindweed

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Red raspberry management

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Tomatoes, peas and beans

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Kale on the 3 day plan

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Squash and cukes

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Crisis in the carrot patch

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CSA Updates This Week

Jack helped me get the finances updated this past week end and we have good news to share for the farm. At the present moment we have 139 shares and we are only $13,000 short of our budget goals for the CSA. We are still open and taking shares. Go to the website to get the price this week.

I am not sure why we are having such bounty this year, but the only thing that we are doing radically different from last year is to use a mineral blend of micronutrients along with the North Country Organics Pro Gro when we plant (on top of foliar spraying, tarping cover cropping, mulching, etc.) Share weights are staying strong and we hope this keeps up.

Coming up this week

  • Lettuce – less this week as we await a new crop coming in the week of June 20
  • Parsley
  • Chinese cabbage – large and medium shareholders only – this is a closeout until sometime in the fall
  • Chives – smalls only
  • Chard from hoop house – this stuff is big and beautiful and will give our field chard a chance to grow back
  • Kale – great stuff from the field
  • Green onions for a while yet – enjoy
  • Oregano – back from week one
  • Strawberries – these surprised us on Friday and we were able to give them out then. Enjoy
  • Beet greens – either from the field or the hoop houses – these are delectable steamed – use the entire plant
  • Cilantro making its debut

Left to right: Kale this week, hoophouse chard, beet greens in the field.

Left to right: Chives, there is parsley in there, I have been enjoying the Chinese cabbage in scrambled eggs and multi-veg stir fries.

Left to right: Oregano back this week, cilantro guarded by lamb’s quarters, green onions getting bigger and tastier – don’t forget to use the entire plant.


Have you ever seen anything as amazing as this lovelock lettuce? We had some 2 lb. heads on Friday.

Recipe Ideas This Week

Deviled Eggs with Homemade Mayonnaise

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  • 1 dozen farm fresh eggs
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3-4 Tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (such as oregano, sage, parsley, etc)
  • 4-5 pickled garlic scapes, chopped
  • 3-4 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • Sea salt to taste, 1-3 teaspoons


  1. Steam eggs in a steamer basket in a stock pot on the stove for 12 minutes.
  2. Remove eggs from heat and transfer to an ice bath for 10 minutes.
  3. Peel eggs, starting with the fat end of the egg where the air sac is located.
  4. Cut eggs in half and remove cooked egg yolk. Reserve yolks in another bowl.
  5. Beat 1 raw egg yolk in a measuring cup or other tall container.
  6. Add vinegar, mustard and salt. Stir to combine.
  7. Ready an immersion blender in your raw egg yolk mixture and slowly add the grapeseed oil while blending. Continue until fully combined.
  8. Add cooked egg yolks in 3 batches, blending in between each addition until smooth.
  9. Add herbs and pickled garlic scapes. Stir with a spoon or spatula to combine.
  10. Spoon mixture into cooked egg white halves.
  11. Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and enjoy!

Download recipe here

Spotty Correspondence

I am just too busy right now to do everything well. I am focusing most of my energy on farming as fast and as effectively and efficiently as possible. The email and some of the non-urgent correspondence has temporarily gotten pretty mediocre. Call me if you want a quick answer.

We are Hiring – on farm – paid – full day

Job interviews being conducted this week.

Many Hands Organic Farm is looking for a full-time seasonal or part-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 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 consider 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. Your “benefit” plan with us also includes a large share of vegetables and many extras. We are looking to hire immediately. We are also looking for part-timers or summer help.

Apply to or call 978-355-2853 or 978-257-1192. Check us out at Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

In addition to last week’s long list of benefits to working shareholdering, Jonathan adds that a wonderful sense of calm comes, and Paula notes that you will learn how to use all of the stuff that you get in your bag.

Email from a working shareholder:

Dear Julie,
As always I love reading your newsletter.  This one, with the story of Skippy, Sadie and her kittens, and the one about Franny both really touched my heart.  You have a way of writing about the most intricate details, including the most challenging, and “tasks” of farm life in a way that pulls the reader in for more.  Thank you for sharing your stories, I find pleasure and meaning from them so please keep sharing your writing, photos and movies!

I want to comment on the article “Working Shareholders Always Welcome”.  You listed nine benefits to becoming a working shareholder and I can attest to every one of them because as you know this is my third year as a shareholder, but only my first year as a working shareholder and “WOW!” is what I want to say about that.  I have experienced every one of those benefits you listed and I cherish each of them!  And as someone who’s now been spending time at the farm since January, there are two more benefits that I’d like to add to your list.  For me these are extremely valuable:

  1. learning how to preserve food Since working at the farm I’ve had hands-on experience with what to dry and how to dry.  I bought my own dehydrator recently because now I know how to use it and for so many items it’s amazing!
  2. getting recipe ideas I am eating everything now (or freezing/drying) all of the produce each week.  Prior to working on the farm I would search online for ways to use some of the items but it could be exhausting and overwhelming!  Nothing compared to when I started sharing in meal prep during a farm day that I was able to go home with tried and true recipes!  It’s the actual hands-on that is the best teaching method for my brain.

With warmth and gratitude,


Volunteer at MHOF

Free Stuff This Week

Seedlings of tomatoes, leeks, parsley, celery, fennel – come by 8-3 any week day

Farm Doin’s

We had to take the week off from the garage to keep up with picking, planting and weeding/mulching. We did manage to plant all the corn, husk cherries, basil, tulsi, some melons and sweet potatoes.

We finished the chard mulching project and took our first crack at weeding the onion seedlings (the sets are all beautifully weeded and mulched).

We have cut and weeded and cleaned up all but a very small portion of the chives and started mulching tomatoes.

We did some replanting in the squash and cukes and were reminded that as the summer progresses, using copious amounts of water while transplanting is a very wise idea.

We started more lettuce, moved our young layers to the field and received our meat birds.

Wednesday afternoon Jack, Clare, Scott and I prepped food for a big memorial for his wife who passed last fall and pondered the passage of time and life that happen for all of us in our time.

Debbie, who has been volunteering 2 full days a week finally agreed that she will let me pay her for one day per week when she moves to 3 days a week starting this week.

Sadly, Sam has had to leave us due to health reasons and we missed her this week.

It certainly is easier to farm when we have a truck!

Little chicks waiting to go to their new home in the field

Happy Father’s Day all you dads!