“Politics” is derived from the juicier Greek word, “politeia,” which implies an active engagement in which people empower each other to enhance their communities.”  – Jean Houston

I happened on to this quote Saturday morning in my Eden Energy feed. We talk about a lot of things while in the field, especially on a weeding week like this past one where we are all close by and find it easy to talk. On Thursday we got off on finding one’s true life meaning and purpose, whether through meditation and inner work or active engagement in the world, or perhaps through both. I noted that although we have been selling produce to the Insight Meditation Society in town, the International Headquarters for Vipassana meditation, I could never see myself meditating for 10 days. Though I have made it up to about a half hour from time to time, that is about my limit, preferring a life of action. The good news is that we each have our pathway to accomplish the above. Perhaps all we need to do in life is to keep honing that pathway. I checked out Jean Houston online – maybe a good way to spend some money if you find yourself casting about for your purpose at the moment.

My darkest hours on the farm are usually in July when it seems that no matter how hard we have worked, there are still plants in crisis, coyotes eating meat birds, and the weather is too hot and unrelenting. This is the month of the year where I often contemplate doing something else with my life. I am elated as we draw to the end of this very hot week that 1 month out from the Solstice, our farm is more energized and productive than it ever has been at this time. It has been a long journey for me since I started “farming” on my own in Dorchester back in 1977, but I just now am starting to see what power to enhance community can be all about. One of my heroes is Wendell Berry and he said, “The Earth is what we all have in common.” I am so happy to be an earth-worker.

Videos from MHOF this week

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CSA Updates This Week

Coming up this week

Okay, now is when we will start having a lot of food for you. If you have not yet become a food preservationist, now is the time to start. Beginning next Friday, Christy and I will attempt a video per week on how to preserve one crop that you have received in your share. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I suggest that you eat veggies for breakfast, lunch and supper!

  • Lettuce – 2 for larges, 1 for mediums and smalls
  • Kale – we will harvest from the new beds this week to change it up a bit
  • Chard
  • Parsley
  • Green cabbage – for larges and medium

  • Chives
  • Basil – new crop. This is a touchy crop that sometimes succumbs to powdery mildew. It is looking very healthy, so fingers crossed it will be a long season

  • Tulsi – Indian basil or holy basil – good in tea or in your favorite salads and stir fries

Here it is with its weeds. We will attempt to have them cleared out by week’s end

  • Summer squash and/or zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans

  • Beets
  • Cilantro – back for probably just one week

Recipe Ideas

Easy Chard Roll Ups

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  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rice, partially cooked
  • 2 Tbs fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs fresh oregano
  • 12 chard leaves
  • 1 pint tomato sauce


  1. Cook rice in boiling water, but reduce recommended cooking time by about 5 minutes so that the rice remains slightly firm. Remove from heat and drain.
  2. Mix beef, vegetables, herbs, spices and partially cooked rice.
  3. Remove chard stems and reserve for another use. Blanch chard leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and cool in an ice water bath. Drain.
  4. Roll 1/4 cup of the beef mixture into each chard leaf. Tuck edges into each roll as you go.
  5. Place rolls in a baking dish lined with tomato sauce. Top with more tomato sauce.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Enjoy!

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Update on Toxins in Compost

Response by NOFA/Mass on safety of compost and the need to buy from only certified organic composters – https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/07/23/opinion/toxic-ground-just-underscores-importance-organic-certification/

In case anyone wonders, we buy potting soil only on our farm (no compost), but this is from Ideal Compost Company, which is approved for use by Baystate Organic Certifiers.

More from MHOF

Young Layers for Sale

We have only 5 left of extra laying birds that have been brooded and acclimated to the outside world. They are 11 weeks old and in top physical condition having been fed on organic grain and lots of comfrey from birth. They are $25 each. Please contact me to make your purchase. Julie@mhof.net or 978-257-1192.

“Red Stars” – high production egg laying chickens.

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

The weeding is easier now and we are doing more mulching and long-term management of crops as we work our way through the picking list for the CSA each M, W, F. If you are more interested in what we do on the off days of the CSA, you are welcome to come on a Tuesday or Thursday. Breakfast at 7, or join us at 8, for four hours and then lunch.

Poster girl Paula with the final pick on lettuce crop #3.

Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

This was a week of weed, weed, weed, and mulch, mulch, mulch. Our early crop of broccoli is now weeded and almost all mulched – to be concluded on Monday. These plants have been a bit under stress, but we are hoping we can save this crop. We also finished weeding what we call the far west, and mulched our way down the hill.

Here are some nice pictures.

Generally, the whole neighborhood in the west field is as beautiful and bounteous as it has ever been. We have some parsley, leeks, celeriac and a few peppers to weed and mulch for this field to be completely in a place of full capacity.

Skippy showing off our 2nd newest lettuce patch, new kale, celeriac and peppers (still partially in weeds), cabbage, and fennel below the tarp.

Close up of the new kale (winterbor).

The celery got its final weed and mulch for the season along with a midseason gallon each bed of ProGro to give it a boost. The pond field is in pretty good shape with a new bed of cucumbers mulched this week and the beets still holding strong and sweet. The one bed of carrots that we were able to save from the weeds is interminably slow. New crops of radishes, turnips, dill and cilantro are following green onions, but just germinating. Though it was very hot this week we lucked out with a large storm on Monday and Monday night, followed by some gentle showers both Wednesday and Thursday nights.

In the south field weeding and mulching of tulsi and husk cherries, and weeding and multi-species cover cropping of corn remains to be accomplished this week. Squashes are performing at best levels ever and cukes looking good too (often a challenge for us). The onion harvest will be thin.

We harvested garlic out of the garden this week, with the upper beds doing quite well and the lower one succumbing to rot. Over the next while there will be garlic in the shares. The potatoes in the garden seem to have out-maneuvered the Colorado potato bugs and are still growing, some of them luxuriantly, some doing well enough. 20-20 hindsight suggests that we should have gotten them weeded, hilled and mulched about 2 weeks earlier than we were able to accomplish it.

The north field is now all well managed with better than ever tomatoes and beans that look like they may not succumb to the Mexican bean beetle until after a good harvest (more beans are planted in far west). And our kale, collard, broccoli suite in the back of the north (behind the orange house) is now fully weeded and soon mulched. This is a new accomplishment for this area of the farm. If nothing else this year, we are attempting to break the hold that some weeds have had on us (most notably bindweed, but also pig weed and galinsoga), making farming next year all that much easier.

Friday afternoon we efficiently tarped four different areas of the farm where crops had gone out. We now know to get tarps on immediately, and how many sand bags to use to keep them down in windy times. Replanting then becomes almost simple.

Cooler temps next week. I can take it!