No Newsletter next week. Jack and I are attending a Celebration of Life in MD over the week end. Julie
That is what Chuk calls him. I prefer to think of him as a gentle giant. Either way, Jonathan Anderson has been a wonderful addition to the MHOF staff. We met years ago when Jonathan became a meat bird customer and we also stayed in touch through NOFA. When Jonathan baled from corporate America, we started seeing him a lot at our winter/spring workshops we ran in 2020 and in February I received a short email. “Is that job still open?” “Yes, I said, are you interested?” He gave us a call and Jack and I hired him on the spot.
Jonathan’s magnum opus at the farm this year has been the garage project. For 40 years I averted my eyes from the brown stained oriented strand board siding, and over the past 2-3 years the side door started to hang on its hinges and the roof was in bad need of a refreshing. Under Chuk’s careful eye (“you can only have a credit card’s width between the boards of the siding”) and with weekly help from Stu and John, Jonathan has transformed the garage into a spiffy-looking building that could only be described as a major attraction these days. 5 more boards on the exterior still remain, but the rehab, complete with a fancy pull down door to the attic, a new side door, and some fancy windows, not to mention the state-of-the-art brooder house in the back, has turned the first building that Jack and I put up in the summer of 1982 into a fine part of the ambiance here.
So, he is a careful and thorough carpenter, but he fixes everything that breaks, and in record time. And systems, he is a systems guy! Both of our back pack sprayers were running all summer because Jonathan stayed on top of their maintenance, only calling Dave when needed for repairs. And now Jonathan and Jack are organizing the shed, a project which got started in 2002 when Leo was here, but never got finished.
Jonathan and I often have thoughtful conversations early in the morning before the others arrive, and share our latest findings in physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Jonathan is always calm. He has taken on management of the Stetson kids on Mondays and they love doing ‘He-Man’ stuff like moving pigs and splitting wood with him as their quiet but attentive boss for the morning.
And he is so reliable and of high moral fiber – a great teammate for me and Clare as we work our way through our intricate list of tasks each week in order to make the farm highly functional. We are blessed. Thank you, Jonathan!
I really enjoyed this podcast regarding resources for transforming autism. Worth a listen.
And here is a good one regarding parasites.
Stuffed Carnival Squash with Sausage and Apples
- 3 medium sized carnival squash (or other winter squash)
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 lbs ground pork sausage
- 2 small apples, peeled and diced
- 2 cups kale, rinsed and chopped
- 2 Tbs fresh (or 2 tsp dried) sage, chopped
- Salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut squash in half vertically with a serrated knife and remove the stem area. Scoop seeds and pulp from each half with a spoon. Reserve seeds for another use.
- Place squash halved open side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you work on the next step.
- Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until about halfway cooked. Add onions and garlic. Continue to cook until fully browned. Add apples, kale and herbs. Continue to cook until apples soften and kale is wilted, about 2 more minutes. Taste and add salt if desired.
- Add cooked sausage mixture to cooked squash halves, heaping the mixture a bit but not overflowing the cavities. Bake for 10 minutes, or until top is slightly browned. (You could also broil them at this stage if your like an extra crispy layer.)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. The skin of the carnival squash is tougher than many other winter squashes, so it can be composted after the inside of the meal has been devoured.
CSA Updates This Week
CSA Crops This Week
This is the first week of the fall CSA
- Parsley – beautiful frost one morning last week
- Chard – despite several frosts, this chard looks stellar!
- Hakurei turnips
- Bok choi or Chinese cabbage or tatsoi
- Bartlett pears
- Butternut squash
Bring Back Your Share Bags
Please save us lots of money and bring back your share bags. You can drop them at your pick-up site over the next two weeks or so. We will collect them, launder them, fix them, and reuse them next year. Thanks for attending to this.
Join the 2023 Summer Share Early
Not sure if we will raise the price for the shares next year, but between now and December 31 you can pay 2022 prices. This keeps us in good cash flow as we go into the winter. You can follow this link – 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/.
Old layers available October 30 (sorry about last week’s typo)
These old gals make a phenomenal chicken stock and the price is right – just $15. We slaughtered on October 30 and now have them available in the freezer.
Now is a good time to order your Thanksgiving turkey
They are going fast! There are now only 14 birds left. 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 from 1-6 pm and Wednesday, the 23rd from 8am – noon.
Limited supply of lard available now
We have some of our 2022 lard available. It won’t be ready again until early 2023. Still $20/quart. Stop by after checking in for a time, or order it online and we will ship.
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. Solange from Rwanda was our guest last Thursday. What a treat!
October has been a beautiful month. It might be my most favorite time of year. We still have plenty to do, but we can stop to “smell the roses” a bit. There is so much beautiful produce growing, the trees are unburdening themselves daily, and the increasing frosts let us know that soon our work in the fields will slow down significantly.
This week we moved the pigs again, to another part of the west field to add their rooting skills and manure to the garden beds that are finished. Jonathan and crew got so close on the garage siding, we gathered and dried some mugwort to make tincture, made a final harvest of apples, finished up our pear sauce, cleaned out the seed freezer and organized it, made some repairs to the tractor and the sprayers, continued foliar feeding the remaining field crops, made real progress on the shed organization, harvested and distributed the final week of the summer CSA and got right onto the fall share prep with labels, bags, letters to shareholders, etc.
Luke MacLean stopped by to audition for a job next spring (and we hired him). On Thursday, Renee brought her UMASS vegetable class to the farm to learn and work and we accomplished the planting of the garlic in 45 minutes!