The Community Meal

As it turns out, I spend more than 10 hours per day either growing food and caring for its stewardship, preparing it to eat or put by, cleaning up after its preparation and serving, or thinking and studying and discussing with others how to do all of this better. And I am not even Italian! Our running tally for meals served here this year is presently at 3,473. You can place your bets here for the total as of December 31 and the winner will receive your favorite bar of soap or bottle of tincture as a prize, and a free coupon for one of our farm lunches redeemable in 2023. Place your bets by October 31.

Silliness aside, I got invited to a zoom the other day that was to take place at noon on a week day. Sacrilege, I thought. When Jack and I got together, one of my bottom lines was that we eat our meals together. And that has become a strong tradition here. Why is this so important to me? Maybe it is the midwestern farm upbringing, maybe it is what I have read about the power of eating and communing that has been so historically significant for so many centuries. Or maybe it is just what I have come to learn in my own experience that when people eat together, they become closer, they share what becomes a sacred gift, and they all walk away with a satisfaction that pervades the spirit. We have had many great meals this past week, but I think most fondly on Scott’s birthday party on Thursday. After a very productive morning of food preservation and avoidance of outside work in the pouring rain, we celebrated his 64th with a roast chicken and potatoes, two kinds of melon, the last of the corn, a monster zucchini, full salad, and Clare’s birthday chocolate pudding. We have miracles happening around us all the time. Here is my challenge to you to make the miracle of a shared meal your reality three times per day.

Scott’s birthday party complete with roast chicken, potatoes, salad, sweet corn, summer squash and Clare’s chocolate pudding

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Personal Wellness

Tulsi, Tulsi, Tulsi

Everybody is talking about it, and we are consuming it in tea and making tincture. We have the most beautiful patch of it this year, and thus, the CSA members are getting it each week. Check out this great article from Beth Callahan. Thanks, Beth!

7 Ways To Use Tulsi Everyday – Herbal Academy

I saw this article and thought of you.

Hi Julie,

I wanted to share that fresh tulsi tea is my new found love too with many thanks to you.  I recently went back to school for my Ayurveda Herbalist Certification.  So I’m all about herbs.  I thought I would share with you some other wonderful properties that tulsi is recognized for beyond its calming effect on the nervous system.  It is great for clearing mucus from the lungs or respiratory tract and used to treat fevers and flu.  Additionally, it is useful in asthma, bronchitis, and rhinitis.  It can increase lung capacity and reduce labored breathing.  It could be helpful with COVID (there’s no research on this, but something to think about).  But there’s more!!  It is a heating herb that is dry and light.  It is good for the digestive system.  It helps to move things through the intestines and calms a fermented digestive tract. It increases the appetite and is a warming stimulant for digestion.  It can aid in weight loss, reduce blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.  It has an affinity for the heart, increasing circulation and blood flow.  For people with a hot constitution (pitta), it could aggravate in excess. For people with a dry constitution (vata), I might suggest a pinch of licorice root to balance out the drying quality.  Of course everything in moderation is key.

Thank you as always for the amazing bounty.



Wow this is great, Jennifer. Thanks for rounding out more information on tulsi. I have been adding it to tea for about a month now, with green tea, chaga and wood betany, and enjoying a quart of it throughout the day. 

Love, Julie

Videos from MHOF this week

Tincture Production

Clare produced two tincture videos this week

Making tulsi tincture

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Bottling yellow dock, dandelion and Japanese knotweed root tinctures

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CSA Updates This Week

CSA Crops This Week

  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers for some
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Tulsi
  • Tomatoes – though our plants are still very healthy, healthier than they have ever been this long into the season, the temperature has dropped and the light just isn’t there. So, we have some, and you might get ones that aren’t quite ripe. Just let them sit on your counter, not in your fridge, and they will ripen up
  • Squash – Clare and I were able to harvest 256 of them on Friday before we ran out of time. There are hundreds more. Look for a delicata or a carnival (looks like an acorn squash) in your bag. There might be a handful of summer squashes too, but they are almost gone
  • Arugula
  • Celery again – as it has gotten so large, we might cut some in half so they fit in the bags
  • Sage
  • You pick flowers in the back of the south field for local shareholders. Enquire at pick up!

More MHOF News

Yes, we have kittens!

Eloise has done it again. And even though I told her she had to raise them outside this time, she pressed, and we relented. Arguably the cutest kittens we have ever raised, these good-looking cats will be available for sale on Friday, October 7 – 4-6 pm and Saturday, October 8 – 1-4 pm. $50, first come, first served. Contact me to put in your reservation. Email me at Do not reach out on Facebook as I will not respond there.

Unfortunate news regarding our pigs’ eating history

This past Wednesday our organic certification inspector came for his yearly inspection. When we were walking past the pigs, he noted that our supplier of certified organic pigs had recently dropped certification (unbeknownst to us). What this means is that we can not claim them to be certified organic, as she fed the piglets non-GMO, but not certified organic, feed. We, of course, are feeding them certified organic grains from Green Mountain Feeds, moving their pasture each week, and giving them tons of our food processing waste by the time they go to slaughter. So, I feel there is not a better pork product around. You can pre-order pork on the website.

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Videos From the Outside World

Optimizing your gut health with Kiran Krishnan

This guy is really sharp. One of my favorites. Listen carefully to this completely information packed podcast. Enjoy!

Other News

Soil and Nutrition Conference

Son Dan is the ED of the Bionutrient Food Association and their annual conference, back in person after two years, will be held on the weekend of December 3 and 4 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. It is always an opportunity to stretch your mind and meet interesting folks.

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

Fall CSA Share

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We are setting aside some of our storage crops like potatoes, onions, garlic, and taking good care of our late greens and roots, all with the hope to have a bounteous fall share. It is always a bit of a Russian roulette game with the weather, but we are planning ahead for a healthy selection for you.

Reserve a fall share

Meat birds available for sale

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

Watch this promo movie we put together this week!

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Working Shareholders Always Welcome

This past week Melissa joined us. Melissa is a music friend and I am so happy she has decided to work with us. The work is always more bounteous than we have hands for. Join us.


Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

Each week now is a hustle to get as much of the crops harvested that are one and done (soybeans, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.) and then stored for the CSA and/or processed for the farm food system for the next 12 months. This week we finally finished the potato harvest. We have been enjoying the mouse eaten potatoes almost every day, while the others are safely in the root cellar for distribution.

We harvested all the corn (I always felt that I was going into a war zone when I picked it this fall) and froze it for later consumption. Next year we hope to be back handing out this wonderful corn to the CSA. On the home front we froze the left-over soybeans, particularly for our Thanksgiving feast. We also cleaned up the most recent cabbage bed after harvest and froze the split heads.

Thursday’s complete wash out allowed us to make 75 quarts of applesauce, shell our saved pea seed, bring our tinctures up to date, cut and sort our onions, and do some remodeling in the barn. Jonathan and John got some garage time in and we ended the day on Friday meeting with our consultants from Advancing EcoAgriculture. Time to start planning for next year!

Our poor crops looked a little worse for wear on Friday after Thursday’s long and intense rains and then cold and stiff winds the next day. They have all represented so well for us this year.

Clare and Pete working on soybeans, chard and cabbage preservation

While Jonathan processed our dried Chicken of the woods

Jack had to take a picture of me with one of our monster watermelons

As it turns out, we do our best gossiping while in the bean patch. We are at close quarters for an extended period of time. Now that the beans are done for the year, we are going to have to find another gossip station.

Shelling our pea seed that will be our pea crop for next year

At our height, there were four of us processing applesauce on Thursday

Stu supervising while Clare, Scott, Alex and Paula assiduously cut onions

Looks like we might squeak through without a frost again this week – fingers crossed. On the docket – soil tests, more cover-cropping, planting some lettuce and greens in the hoop houses, squash harvest, sweet potato harvest.


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