Slug Fest

Anyone who farms or gardens is probably thinking about slugs right now. And even though Jack and I read a delightful book about a woman who recovered from a serious illness by having a pet snail, I still don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for them.

But this week Dan was here from England, and Buddhist that he is, he rehomes his slugs from his and our daughter Ellen’s garden. This is just one person after all, but then Maggie and Eliza showed up and set up a slug motel with slugs they found under a pile of cardboard, and finally Shantel admitted to me on Saturday that when she found a slug in her lettuce, she rehomed it in the back yard. Perhaps the universe is talking to me about my somewhat narrow perspective on slug management which mostly focuses on killing them.

Luckily, we don’t have that many slugs such that I have to lose sleep over them, but I am going to consider alternatives to all out war in the future. For those of you who want to, shall we say, deter slugs, here are some tips. Egg shells crushed and placed around plants, ash, diatomaceous earth, and anything that is a bit on the sharp side discourages them traveling up your plants for dinner. We also have a nice recipe that we got from AEA, called slug food (is that a euphemism for something like drinking the Kool-Aid?). Anyway, it works.

Many Hands Slug Food

  • 1 quart Sea Crop
  • 1 Pint Rebound Copper
  • 1 cup Rebound Boron
  • 1 Pint Rebound Iron
  • 1 Pint HoloPhos
  • Top off a 2 ½ gallon with water
  • You could put some beer in the mix too if you want

Mix all of this up in a 2 ½ gallon jug, should you have one, and spray it on the plants when they are in shade at 1 quart per 3-4 gallon tank of water.

And I will try to be more Zen.

Dan in the lettuces

Big 40th Anniversary Party at MHOF
July 3, 2022

Nothing like a party to put the pressure on to get stuff done. Too bad we don’t just have to clean the house!

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, (that means that you bring a dish to pass), 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. We will have plates and glasses and silverware and chairs too, so just bring that special dish that you want to show off.

We would love to see you and catch up.

-Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson

Still accepting donations to support Worcester Community Fridges

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 here.

Agricultural Education from MHOF

Videos from this week.

Hustling to get the eggplant in

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Tomatoes, beans and peas

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Picking up the hay in the truck that died later that day, returning with the hay, finishing the mulching

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Flowers with Ellen

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Farmer Jonathan raking the hay with our ground driven rake

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Potatoes and friends

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When did these elderberries get so beautiful?

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Thursday planting of kale, celeriac, pepper, cabbage and soybeans

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We are selling 25 of these beauties – $25 each

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CSA Updates This Week

Coming up this week

  • Lettuce – now from our second planting
  • Parsley
  • Chard – from the field
  • Kale – great stuff from the field
  • Green onions for 6 or 7 more weeks
  • Strawberries – these have been taken over by milk thistle and thus are not as prolific as hoped, but diligent weeding while picking this week should bring in another week of strawberries. Smalls missed out on Monday and Wednesday. We will make sure you get some this week.
  • Beet greens – we put these on hold last week. They will be very good this week – just steam them like any other green, or chop into a stir fry
  • Radishes – in their first debut
  • Garlic scapes – we pick this center seed head from the garlic in order to encourage the bulbs to grow larger. They are really good with olive oil!

Parsley – freshly weeded and looking a little unsteady on its feet


The chard has made an astonishing comeback from its earlier bout with beet leaf miner

We plan to get this beautiful kale mulched this week to ensure a steady and healthy crop all season


Check out this Freckles lettuce – one of the beauties you will receive this week

Frankly, I have never seen such healthy beet greens

This week’s radishes

Garlic scapes

Young Layers for Sale

We have 25 extra laying birds that have been brooded and acclimated to the outside world. They are 7 weeks old and in top physical condition having been fed on organic grain and lots of comfrey from birth.

“Red Stars” – high production egg laying chickens.

They are $25 each. Please contact me to make your purchase. or 978-257-1192.


Recipe Ideas This Week

Kale Caesar Salad

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  • 1 lb kale leaves (about 5 large stems)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • 6 anchovy filets (in olive oil)
  • 2 green onions, chopped


  1. Strip rinsed kale leaves from stems and tear into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Knead kale with olive oil for at least 2 minutes, until fibers are broken down and leaves take up about half of the original volume.
  3. Add mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan and anchovies to a blender or food processor. Blend until fully combined.
  4. Toss dressing, kale and green onions together. Enjoy!

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More from MHOF

We Hired

From inside this time – Debbie who was volunteering 2 full days per week has agreed to be paid for a third, and we upgraded Peter to 2 days from working shareholder status. Hiring from within is a tried and true way to get your foot in the door, and we are very happy to share some cash with these two who have shown their stuff as volunteers.

Peter with the green onions


Danny, Debbie and Clare on the back of the truck



Working Shareholders Always Welcome


Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

Chuk was on me about the slowdown on the garage, and Jonathan and John had a good time making a few more fancy cuts on the siding on Friday. With our new expanded staffing we were able to spare them.

Although we didn’t get everything done last week that I hoped, it was a bit of a hopeful list. We did accomplish planting sweet potatoes, eggplant, celeriac, kale, cabbage, peppers, soybeans and pole beans. We mulched all the beans and most of the tomatoes, did a quick weed on some cabbage and fennel, got the parsley 2/3 weeded though not yet mulched, made progress on the bindweed in the blueberries, cleaned up the new plantings of lettuce and beets, and got one section of black raspberries freed from Bishop’s weed. We also finished cutting and weeding and mulching the chives, readying them for another round of cutting in 2-3 weeks. The kale is almost all weeded and half mulched. The flowers are planted. Jonathan cut more hay in the west field and we almost got picked up all of the first batch he cut, and used it for tomatoes and bean mulching.

This week we hope to finish the parsley, make huge progress on our first cabbage planting (weeding and mulching), finish up the tomatoes and the red raspberries, get the four beds of carrots weeded, weed whack and hill some of the potatoes, make progress on leek and onion weeding, and mulch the squash and cukes. At the Solstice, though a bit anxious, I am feeling more ahead than usual (or is it less behind 😊)!

This is how you get a lot of weeds out quickly


Clare with her favorite crop


When the truck breaks down we get creative


Jonathan in bare feet finally


Planting on Thursday


Check out how much taller the peas were on Saturday than Tuesday


Shares all loaded for delivery


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