Zip Up

As life has settled down a bit on the farm, I have gotten back into some healthy routines that I have no problem following in the winter, but which fall to the wayside in the busy summer months. Concurrent to dropping these practices my old challenges of weak knees and sore hips and fatigue soon reappear and remind me I need to take care of and find time for myself on a daily basis. For so many of us with ultra-busy lives, this can be a challenge to accomplish.

Presently I do three things for my physical health each morning. I am working with the Breathing for Energy program by Ari Whitten, which sadly is not cheap. But what he teaches is about intermittent hypoxia, breath holding for longer and longer periods of time each day to build lung capacity, increase nitric oxide production and improve health in wide-ranging ways. You can do it yourself with Patrick McKeown’s book, The Oxygen Advantage. Here is a great podcast with Whitten and McKeown –

Next, I am back doing Donna Eden’s Daily Energy Routine:

At 79, she is still doing this work of helping people connect with their bodies to create their own healing. I have great admiration and respect for her work. The zip up is one of the exercises in this short video that traces the central meridian and gives one the opportunity to seal in good intentions for the day. You can accomplish this daily routine in 5 minutes or less.

Finally, I am back with Lucy Wyndham and her 7-minute exercise videos that are strenuous and work on all or various muscles in the body to strengthen one’s entire system. Right now, I am working with to speed up metabolism, but there are a number of very helpful videos that she offers.

I can easily accomplish all of this work in less than a half hour and then move on to my day. I am left each morning with a sunny disposition, lots of energy and raring to go. Good stuff that keeps me balanced and more effective during my sometimes very long days.

Videos from MHOF this week

Visiting with the turkeys
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We did get through all those pails of grapes and put away a fair amount of grape juice – close to 60 jars.

There are still more grapes out there, but the rush is over.
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Alex took a video of Leslie, Clare and me stuffing bags with produce on Wednesday.

We were so tired by 2 pm when we finally finished the CSA that day. Bags were super full!
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CSA Updates This Week

CSA crops this week

  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Green beans
  • Some broccoli here and there
  • Arugula for larges
  • Soybeans (Edamame) – take these off the stalk, place them in boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes until you can pop them out of the shells. You can eat them just like that, or shell them all, and warm them up and of course add butter
  • Parsley
  • Tulsi
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash – maybe summer, maybe winter – the summer squash plants are finally giving up the ghost
  • Oregano

Crop Report

We hit the apex of the CSA last week for sure. The celery was a bit over the top, as so many of our vegetables have been this year. The chard is extremely hard to get in the bags too, as it has been so tall. This most recent iteration of beets is also of very high quality, which is exciting for us. The corn, sadly, is not going to be coming in quantities adequate to share with the CSA after its challenges with the hail storm. Crops are for sure slowing down. No more over-abundance of summer squash, and the tomatoes are ripening much more slowly now.

No lettuce this week, but it will be back next week. We put in a lot of fall crops which are germinating nicely. Once we get all of the potatoes dug, we will be sharing those again. And sweet potatoes will need to be dug in the next week or so. If the mice haven’t had at them, they should be a good crop, but you never know until you start digging. Green beans are strong for at least one more, if not two more weeks. This is the last week of soybeans.

Recipe Ideas

Roasted Ranch Edamame (Soybeans)

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  • 3 bunches fresh edamame (soybeans)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp dried onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs powdered milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove pods from stem, then remove soybeans from pods.
  3. Toss shelled edamame with olive oil. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown but not burned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. While soybeans are baking, combine the remaining ingredients to make the ranch seasoning. Use a spice grinder to grind any spices that aren’t yet powdered.
  6. Sprinkle ranch seasoning on cooled, roasted edamame. Toss to coat.
  7. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.

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News From the Outside World

Thanks to Jill Woodworth for this great article on comfrey. Comfrey is one of my most favorite plants, but I didn’t know about putting the root into my salves – an upgrade for 2022 for sure!

Emails From Subscribers

Hi Julie,

Happy anniversary to you and Jack. I love this story. I notice these little things all the time with Owen,  we do and think so differently. For a long time I thought we wouldn’t last together because of it. The old adage that opposites attract is true. And Ayurveda teaches us that opposites balance.  That’s one of the main concepts in Ayurveda. We see this in nature and we are nature. Congratulations to both of you for your patience,  kindness and love for each other. You are both such an inspiration.   Owen and I may not make 4 decades because we’re too old but we are life long partners.

With love, light and happiness,


Nice, Jennifer, 

Thank you for your profound sentiments, and I am glad that you too have made it over the hump of wondering what planet the other person came from, coming out the other side realizing that diversity once again, is key to strong systems, and ultimately happy people. Love, Julie

Congratulations Julie and Jack! I forgot we were married in the same  year—Dave & I just celebrated 44 in May—very true what you said about opposites attracting…!


Thanks, Karen, and you are not the first one this morning to make that opposites connection this morning. There must be something in it! Julie

Dear Julie and Jack,

I would say that you and Jack have a case of serious love. That comes from years of being together. There is no cure for it. You just live with it.

I congratulate you both with living successfully with your case.

Love, Ella

Oh, thank you, Aunt Ella, it is pretty fun to get better and better at loving another person as the years go by. Thanks for your support all these years, love, Julie


I loved this reflection on your 44 years together.

And the photos of you side by side at work at that famous table in your kitchen. And side by sides of how you cut tomatoes.

What if there were a list of all the events that happened at that table and all the people who sat there with you from family, friends, NOFA people, etc. There’s a lot of good feeling and poignancy that happened at this table.

And then to pivot to the arrival of the pigs!?!

Oh gosh, Lew, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I guess it is true that much has happened at that table and also the old formica one that preceded it and the smaller wooden one that started out in that location (having found it at 96 Stockton St, as I remember it). Holding good memories within us while learning to fully live in the present is such a gift that we human beings can receive and enjoy. Love, Julie

Hi Julie,

I look forward to your newsletter each week and your sharings about physical, mental and emotional health.

Belated Happy Anniversary. It’s nice to see that you embrace the differences between you and Jack. I’m a firm believer that we seek balance in our mates. Sometimes it takes patience to be OK with that balance but I appreciate it most of the time.

I’m so sorry to have disturbed your nap on Friday. If you prefer that I not bring the vegetable scraps I’ll understand.

Since my husband doesn’t care for chard or beet greens I’ve been preserving and freezing them to go in soups and stews this winter. He’s perfectly OK with them in that form and I like that we’re still getting some great greens in the winter.

Wishing you a great week.

By the way, you may not have changed the entire world but you’ve certainly made huge and positive differences in the immediate world around you.

Take care


Thank you for your kind words, Beth. Just today I was wondering when Jack would get rid of his raggedy old shirts and wear the newer ones I get for him from time to time, frustrated as all get out. But he held firm to his mother’s dictum that we should “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Yes, I find the differences can be maddening, or offer us an opportunity to live and let live. In my more evolved moments I always choose this option! 

You can keep bringing your scraps. I am not usually taking a nap on the couch, though that was nice on Friday!  Pretty soon, when the layers are back in their winter home at the edge of the driveway you can deliver them right there. 

Good luck sneaking good veggies into your husband in the winter. Many a woman has done this for her family for many a century! Julie

Good morning and congratulations Julie and Jack on your anniversary! I hope you both are doing well. I have to say that I really miss the days I spent with you and for that I am very grateful. Thank you for sending all the wonderful letters, they bring me back to Sheldon road immediately when reading them. Tara and I are living in Boston, Jamaica Plain to be more precise, and we are both engaged in our work. She is at Boston Medical doing her residency and I am working at La Colaborativa in Chelsea directing a food assistance program that helps immigrant families get food. It is difficult to see how in urban settings having access to nutritious food is a luxury. I think constantly about how much abundance the land at MHOF had compared to the urban spaces in Boston. Love you Julie and I hope to see you soon.

Juan Camilo

Hey Juan, 

So good to hear from you. You were such a bright light when you volunteered here last year. I am glad you are doing the Lord’s work in Chelsea. Here is my challenge to you – get a farm started there, so folks in Chelsea can have a hand in raising their own food! You have a lot of capacity, and I am happy to consult. Come on out when you can. Love, Julie

Homemade tick repellent recipe for dogs

in this article – from Leslie Stambler

Fall CSA Share

Sign Up Now!

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

Meat birds available for sale

The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some.


Working Shareholders Always Welcome

Especially now! Jonathan was sick for 3 of the 4 days last week and we were hurting for help. Thanks to Danny, Paula, Leslie, Alex, John and Maria for helping us pull it off. Alex is our newest working shareholder. See elsewhere in the newsletter for his ad for photography. He is good! You can work with us up through November 19 on the CSA, and then come on for the winter if you really like the outdoors!

Volunteer at MHOF

Weekend help needed until the end of the year

On Saturdays we need some help on the following days – October 1, October 8, November 19.

Jack and Jill have had to end their time with me on Sundays and we have the following Sundays as of yet not covered – October 2, October 9, October 16, October 30, November 6, November 20.

Weekend chore people help move the chickens and turkeys and feed the pigs. I serve breakfast at 8 am and we are done by 10 am. In exchange, you receive a dozen eggs and 4 or 5 different kinds of vegetables from that week’s CSA. Give me a call or email if you are interested in helping – 978-257-1192;

iPhone photos by @alexandre_chiacchio

Above are some photos by Alex


I’m looking for a free lancer works in my area of expertise while I improve my English:

Portrait Photography; Family Photography; Boudoir Photography; Pre Wedding Photography; Lifestyle Photography; Real Estate Photography; Food Photography; Industrial Photography

This is my website, where you can check out the high quality of my portfolio:

Alexandre Chiacchio

Professional Photographer and Videographer in Worcester, MA

I’m Brazilian and I have over 15 years of experience in high quality commercial images production. I will be staying in Massachusetts until July 2023 to accompany my wife on her chemical engineering PhD project at WPI in Worcester, MA.

I’m looking for a free lancer works in my area of expertise while I improve my English:

Portrait Photography; Family Photography; Boudoir Photography; Pre Wedding Photography; Lifestyle Photography; Real Estate Photography; Food Photography; Industrial Photography

This is my website, where you can check out the high quality of my portfolio:

Ellen’s Latest Offering

Wisdom of the Body, Wisdom of Nature Begins October 9th!

All Details Here:

In this Course we learn to align ourselves with energies from nature that are part of our birthright and that can offer remarkable transformation in all areas of life. Scholarships are available for those in need, so please just ask.

“The connections developed during this course have brought forth a different sense of capacity – a fullness and deeper sense of wholeness. A love like no other. I couldn’t wait to be together with everyone each week.” – Stephanie Clement

Farm Doin’s

It was a rough week. We did appreciate the rain on Tuesday, though it did rain all day and turned out to be about 4 inches, all of which easily absorbed into the soil. We hustled through the rain all day that day, and then on Wednesday because Jonathan was sick and Laurie was on vacation we had a stalwart four of Leslie, Alex, Clare and me and only finished the largest CSA day at 2 pm. Thanks to Jack for making the Worcester delivery.

Thursday Stu, Clare and I moved the layers from the west field to the pond field (which took three hours of back breaking work), but hopefully they are set up for easy moves until they go back into the chicken house in late October.Then we moved the pigs to spot number two and they immediately happily began field deconstruction.

Dan and the boys helped me pick more grapes and get pear drops on the “second shift.”

Friday Clare, John, Pete, Maria and I hustled through the CSA and were done by 1! Little “progress” work was accomplished this week – picking, chores and an overdue move of the layers. But that is often the scenario on a Labor Day week. Hopefully we will get the potatoes all out of the ground, and some weeds pulled and mulch put down this upcoming week.

Sometimes I forget to mention my weekend help. Shantel, who is now 29 weeks pregnant, helps me move the birds and do pig chores most Saturdays. She is amazing. And this Sunday Dan and the boys helped with morning chores. Doodle is elated that he has seemingly trained the pigs to play “follow the leader” with him as leader as they run around their field.

Raffi and Doodle enjoying the view of the pigs from atop their house.

Sorry that photos get more scarce when help is short.


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