Yes, we are running the CSA on Monday, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 10. And, no newsletter next week. Jack and I are heading to visit son Paul and family in MD.
“How you imagine the world determines how you live in it.” — David Suzuki
Agriculturally speaking, I think this is a really important thought to consider. My friend Ruben was over this weekend doing infiltration testing for a compaction grant that our farm is a part of, and we got on the subject of jumping worms. They are all the rage, it seems, as in, “oh no, another invasive that we have to get rid of.” Actually, they are mostly referred to as invasive jumping worms, or invasive Asian jumping worms. They wriggle when you uncover them, as opposed to the older “invasive” European worms that have been here since the Europeans brought them over. As I understand it, those European earthworms are considered beneficial, as normal as apple pie and baseball. “But these jumping worms eat up all the organic matter,” protest their detractors. My thought on that one is, “well, let’s add more organic matter for them to break down, because the worm castings that they leave actually feed the soil quite nicely (as is the case with European earthworm castings also).
The fact is that they are here. And I suspect that they are filling an ecological niche. We could go around and try to destroy them, or we could imagine that they are part of our agricultural evolution at this time in history and are here to teach us how to be better, more carbon-sequestering farmers. What I have observed on our farm is that in the places where we see these athletic worms when we pull the mulch aside, we also see some of our healthiest plants.
Ruben put it so nicely when he suggested that we not fear nature and natural processes, but learn what nature has to teach us about how to build a fantastically fertile soil. I walked away from our conversation so enlivened about the possibilities. I guess that my imagination on this topic is right where I would like it to be. Now all I have to work on is imagining the best regarding all of the human beings that I interact with each day!
Of Birthdays and Desserts
As I watched these two videos of, first Doodle’s birthday, and then Leslie’s (with the sound off), I was struck at the facials they made. Isn’t it wonderful when folks can focus in and make over us, if just for the span of a couple of minutes?
So, first a chocolate cake, and then a chocolate pie, and then we went on to two blueberry pies before the week was out. It was a great week!
Solito: A Memoir, by Javier Zamora, is, in my opinion, a must read. Javier the 9-year-old narrates his 7-week experience of attempting to get from El Salvador to California in 1999. He actually wrote the book in 2021-22 at age 32. We have a 9-year-old grandson, so it really came home to me as I look at Doodle and imagine him making such a trek without any family members. Javier does a remarkable job of giving us a bird’s eye view of this life-changing event while never losing the perspective of the young child. If you ever think about the topic of migration of people from Central America and Mexico to the US (“la usa”, according to the boy Javier), this will give you a very intimate view of the danger, the discomfort and physical strain, the fear, and the brilliant moments of connection between the travelers. This excellent book is life-enhancing for the reader. I recommend it highly.
CSA Updates This Week
CSA Crops This Week
We have three more weeks left for the CSA with our last week being October 24, 26 and 28.
- Carrots for larges and radishes for mediums and smalls
- Brussels sprouts – not happy with this crop this year – let’s see what we get
- Hakurei turnips
- Carnival or delicata winter squash
- Sweet potatoes – please be advised that your sweet potatoes, and to some extent beets, might have some mouse damage. We have some very healthy mice and voles in our fields. Just cut off the bite marks if they concern you, or just scrub them clean before preparing. Fall is mouse time!
The first hard frost came almost like clockwork on the morning of October 9, right when it almost always shows up. The only thing that we will have to take off the list this week is tulsi. Otherwise, all the galinsoga and pigweed bit the dust, which is a blessing.
Fall CSA Share
We still have room!
We can take up to 100 fall shares, so there is still room. We will be picking on Mondays for Gardner, Athol, Princeton, Holden and Barre. Wednesday pick up for Barre, Sutton, Worcester and Shrewsbury. Our start is on October 31. For the last week, all pick-ups will be on Monday, November 21.
You can join here – https://mhof.net/csa-share-options/.
Meat birds available for sale
The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some – https://mhof.net/organic-meat/.
Now is a good time to order your Thanksgiving turkey
They are going fast! The birds are out there growing like weeds on our luscious pasture, certified organic feed and a regular treat of comfrey. Our turkeys are renowned as the tastiest and juiciest birds that will ever grace your Thanksgiving table. Birds are slaughtered the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 21) and are available for pick up on Tuesday the 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd.
Working Shareholders Always Welcome
Yes, you can still add yourself to the MHOF workforce. Come any M, W or F from 8-12 and stay for lunch. We always have a great time.
It was an exciting weekend last weekend as the folks came to dig a long trench to the house from our new generator location at the bottom of the driveway, and install it. Not yet hooked up, but we hope to be ready for the next power outage.
I was struck by how beautiful our flower boxes were on October 1. This picture is now my screen saver on my computer to help me remember the brilliance of healthy flowers when we are deep into winter.
Monday, we had a visit from Renee, a friend from UMass and she helped us finish the sweet potato harvest. Monday also was a special day because we met a new Stetson student, Asher, and Kamarin was back for the first time since he left us in August. These folks and Gary helped Jonathan organize our lumber shelves that are attached to the barn.
We picked away at our hoop house planting, finishing up the planting of the orange house to lettuce, and we did the big turn over of the yellow house from melons to lettuce beds, but ran out of time to plant. Meanwhile we are on a forced feeding diet of melons, eating them in the field off the back of the truck, and stuffing our faces at breakfast, lunch and supper also.
Thursday was consumed with the final product of 88 quarts of apple juice. Canning wasn’t completed until Friday morning!
Friday afternoon Pete and I chilled out and picked the hemp, and got more chilled out as we worked…It is in the dryer this weekend and is still chilling us out.
Jonathan and John picked away at the garage, finishing the south side and moving on to the front. And Jack and Jonathan put together a plan for all of our outside buildings and how to most efficiently organize them. Speaking of cleaning up and organizing, this work thrills me to no end. Perhaps it is the ¼ German blood that I have flowing in my veins.
Keep your eyes wide open this week, and drink in the beautiful leaves of our blessed New England landscape.