As August moves into its second half and the early crops in the field start to wane, it is an easy jump to consider our own aging. I was able to put those thoughts at bay for several decades, but as Jack and I attend more funerals of our friends, thoughts of our own deaths and transition enter the consciousness.

Gracefully aging while living a full and meaningful life, albeit perhaps a bit slower, staying relevant while slowly backing into the surroundings are all considerations of the “Third Act” that Jane Fonda so aptly wrote about in her book Prime Time: Creating a Great Third ACT and spoke about in her Ted Talk. I like her reference to the spirit and how it becomes central to our growth and development as full human beings as we age. Soon school will start for some, an end to vacationing for some, but generally a return to a fresh start in the crisp fall. I look forward to really digging in to my Third Act this fall and winter as I climb ever upward on the staircase of life.

More on Breathing – Nitric Oxide

Quoting from Ari Whitten in Breathing for Energy Program –

Nitric Oxide production is significantly increased with nose breathing (6 times better than mouth breathing, and 15 times better if you breathe through your nose while humming). And here is a short explanation of what nitric oxide does in your system:

  • Dilates blood vessels
  • Acts as an anti-oxidant or oxidant as appropriate
  • Boosts vascular and lung health
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Is anti-inflammatory, viral and bacterial
  • Supports homeostasis, neurotransmission, respiration
  • Prevents high blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Creates more flexible arteries

Videos from MHOF this week

Finally got the corn weeded and thinned and then later spread a nice multi-species cover crop mix

On Thursday two groups came to work with us

Anna brought the kids from Home City Housing in Springfield and Allison brought a group from the Somers, CT summer program. It was old home week as both Anna and Allison were colleagues of mine in NOFA back in the day.

CSA Updates This Week

CSA crops this week

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Beet greens from our new beds
  • Beet wrap up from our amazing 8 week run on our first beet crop
  • Tulsi
  • Summer squash and/or zucchini
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon balm

After 11 weeks (halfway), here are the weight numbers for shares so far – large – 9 lbs. average, medium – 7 lbs. average, smalls – 4.5 lbs. average

Fall Share – sign up now

A fall share

We will be picking for the fall share, starting October 31 and running for 4 weeks, on Mondays and Wednesdays. But on the last week we are picking all of the shares on Monday. Keep the good food flowing for one more month.

Reserve a Fall Share

Bulk Sale items

Right now, we have extra zucchini and summer squash. It is $3/lb., but if you buy 25 lbs. or more, we will sell it to you for $2/lb. Give me a call if you would like some for putting by as dried squash or squash puree.

Recipe Ideas

Roasted Fennel, Chickpeas and Kale

Watch video on Instagram


  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp powdered turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove fennel fronds from bulb and save for another use. Coarsely chop fennel bulb and add to a medium bowl.
  3. Add ½ tsp turmeric, 1 Tbs olive oil and ½ tsp salt. Toss to coat and lay on a baking sheet.
  4. Place rinsed chickpeas in a medium bowl. Add garlic, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 Tbs olive oil and ½ tsp salt. Toss to coat and lay on the baking sheet next to the fennel.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, remove stems from kale and chop the leaves.
  7. Place chopped kale in a medium bowl and add ginger, sage, lemon juice, remaining olive oil and salt.
  8. Remove fennel and chickpeas from the oven and add kale mixture on top. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and toss everything together. Allow to cool and enjoy! (Great served in a soft tortilla as a taco base, or as a side dish.)

Download Recipe

Meat Birds Available on August 28

Chicken slaughter is coming up very soon. You can get chickens for your freezer for the entire year. Read more about these fantastic birds here and place your order.


Other News

Some interesting Podcasts that I listened to this week

Son Dan on inoculants

Gerald Pollack on Structured Water. I hope I am so vibrant when I am 82.

An old friend and colleague, Ridge Shinn, is starting this initiative:

Dear friends,

Because you know me, you probably know how long I’ve advocated for regenerative cattle grazing—which has multiple benefits for health and the environment—to replace conventional, corn-based cattle beef production, which has degraded farmland and driven climate change. I founded a meat company and most recently have co-authored a book about grass-fed beef production, which will be released in November. But this is such a complex and critically important issue, there is much more to be done—much more that must be done.

So, I’m excited to tell you about my newest project: the Northeast Grass-Fed Beef Initiative (NGBI).

NGBI is a not-for-profit organization that will partner with farmers in the region to facilitate on-farm transitions from conventional to regenerative systems. Widespread adoption of this methodology has the power to restore ecosystem health, fight climate change, and revitalize rural economies.

We see a future in which our Northeast communities reclaim vibrant stewardship of soil health, water quality, and economic opportunity. To get there, we’re building a strong regional network of cattle producers, suppliers, farm services, and community members.

Please visit this page to learn more and to join NGBI’s mailing list.

Then, help us spread the word by forwarding this email to 10 people who would be interested in our vision. If you see pathways for collaboration, please be in touch.

This is just an introduction to the new entity, the Northeast Grass-Fed Beef Initiative (NGBI). We hope you will sign on to learn more. Thanks for your support. We’ll get there together.

See you on the farm,
Ridge and the NGBI team

Letters from subscribers

“Hi Julie,

I love your newsletter and read every word and watch your informative videos. In the past I have grated my zucchini for use during the colder months. (I have a vacuum sealer and use it for everything going into my freezers.)

This past Friday I received the fennel and celery with which to make one of my very favorite salads and I make fennel frond pesto with the tops. Actually, I make pesto with quite a few things – young carrot tops and garlic scapes are two of my favorites. They are delicious as Bruchetta with crumbled goat cheese.

I’ve included a few of my favorite recipes for you to share or try if you see fit.

Have a great week.

Take care


Thanks, Beth, 

Sounds like you are a real cook. I will pass these on to Christy, who also is a sketch more gourmet than I am, to test and share in the newsletter throughout the season. We are always looking for ways to enjoy fennel to pass along to folks, and I also love using carrot tops. 


Circle of Song starting up September 8

Circle of Song is a community chorus that I co-direct with my friend Nancy Afonso. We are starting up our fall session on September 8 – Barre Congregational church – enter at left side door – from 7-8:30pm. We are always looking for singers who are a little on the irrepressible side and who like to sing in four-part harmony. We will be doing one movement from Faure’s Requiem along with some modestly challenging pieces, some of which might be in a foreign language. Minnie likes peppy, Jack likes beautiful, Karen likes challenging, all us of like to laugh and not take life too seriously (except for musical diligence, of course). Give me a call – 978-257-1192, or email – to find out more. We charge $40 – $70 sliding scale for annual membership.

Can’t read that well? We will help you with that. A good ear is appreciated. We meet every Thursday night and are planning our concert for December 17 at the Barre Town Hall.

We also like to eat together

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.

Volunteer at MHOF

Farewell to Deb. It was with great sadness that I accepted Deb’s resignation last week end. She started as a half-day working shareholder in the spring and then quickly moved to three days per week. Out of the starting gate she was fast, had a strong sense of quality, and was a very convivial member of our farm team – quickly making herself indispensable. Life circumstances changed and she had to leave us. We hope she will return sooner rather than later.

Deb, June 22, 2022

No Newsletter next week

Christy is going on vacation. See you again on the 29th!

Farm Doin’s

The week started hot and got hotter, but then things broke a bit and we truly enjoyed Thursday and Friday on the farm (except for the fact that we are concerned about the ever- drier conditions!)

Highlights were getting the corn weeded, thinned and cover-cropped, weeding and mulching one of our lettuce successions and our new brassicas, mulching those new brassicas and the tulsi and the ground cherries. We finally picked up all of the hay that we have down on the field and Kamarin got all of the fruit trees mowed. We started picking peaches, and sadly the crop is very small this year. Another early apple tree provided us with 14 quarts of applesauce and the eating apples (for CSA shares) are just around the corner.

With the Home City Housing folks we were able to do some significant cover cropping under many different crops. Now we need a little rain to help them germinate.

Jonathan and Stu did some more work on the garage and cut down our lilacs to side the south side (we are banking on them growing back over time). John, Jonathan and Jack puzzled out our pig shock system problems and then started the repair in advance of their arrival on August 26.

The tomato hornworm collection has continued and Maria took some awesome pictures of hornworms infested with wasps.

And Eloise had her tenth? litter on Wednesday and eluded our attempts at finding them for a couple of days.

While the rest of us were out slaving in the hot sun, these guys were reconnoitering about pig shock

Turns out watering chickens is a great entry level job for 5 year-olds. Alexandria took care of Saturday and Raffi did Sunday

Amazing that these big boys and girls were all gone by Saturday morning

Maria took this amazing picture of a tomato hornworm being taken out by wasp larvae

Kamarin with one of the kittens

Agnes feeding the turkeys on Thursday

Eloise contemplating her last moments of freedom

Dear Clare in the corn

Making applesauce


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