I suppose that for many, the end of November is not that much different from the beginning of December. But here at the farm the turkeys are dead, the veggies are almost all dead, the chickens are now in their winter house, and the pigs are only with us for 2 ½ more short weeks. Life has lightened up a lot. With it comes more time for me. For about 8 months, every minute of my life has been scheduled. And that is not a bad thing, but to all of a sudden have some space can be scary, at least at first. I suppose it is like this for school teachers who work like the dickens and then have no job responsibilities for 2 ½ months each year.

For me the challenge is to make the most of this lighter schedule to take care of things that got pushed aside or were dealt with only sketchily. I like lots of people around, so spending more time with myself can be a bit of a jolt. It has been all of two days so far! Luckily for my extrovert, folks will be here 3 days out of 7, and for the rest of the time I am starting to look forward to more quality time with Jack, with my sewing machine, the couch, self-education, grandchildren, walks with Skippy and Dingo, phone calls to friends and family, my French horn, and dreaming about next year’s perfect farm. And then there is the book. I have exactly 2 months to write my half of the book for Chelsea Green. Jack has already almost completed his share of it. I am sure that right around March 1 I am going to be wondering where all the time went. I suspect that by the end of next week – our last full week of work, I will be hungrily anticipating that time alone.

Farm Videos From Last Week

The big move for the pigs across the farm on Wednesday

Watch video on Facebook
Watch video on Instagram

Well, perhaps all of that distress was worth it after all!

Watch video on Facebook
Watch video on Instagram

CSA Updates This Week

Fall CSA Now Over

I hope you enjoyed it. I was elated by the amount and quality of the produce we were able to distribute. Things were a bit sketchy last week, but we were able to save most of the remaining field crops before the temperature hit its low of 19 degrees. Soon I will write an evaluation and send it out to you for your response. Thanks again for eating with us in November.

Packing the final CSA

“What do you guys do in the winter, anyway?”

That is the big question that we always get this time of year. For sure, life is easier, but we have just the right amount of work to do as we go down to three days per week. We will finish getting the rock dust spread on the fields and orchard, collect as many more large totes of leaves as possible before the weather turns, and start spreading our 5 big loads of wood chips, mostly on perennials. We will cut and split and stack some more wood, continue with shed repairs and repairs to the electric shock system, clean up the barn, cut down dead fruit trees and get them all mulched, take down some old trellises, and prepare our small fruit for winter. We will also order all of our seeds, update our website, arrange for all of our animals for 2023, complete our certification application, buy fertilizer, and make plans for some enhanced biological homemade teas. Jonathan promises us a new rain catchment system design with actualization in the spring. As the winter moves into its later phase, we will prune all of our fruit trees and berries and start planting seedlings. Hopefully all the above will be accomplished by April 1 so we can hit the ground running in the early spring. 

Join the 2023 Summer and Fall CSA Early

Actually, we will be raising prices for 2023 for both the summer and the fall share, but between now and December 31 you can pay 2022 prices. This provides savings for you and helps us hopefully squeak by with our break-even budget. You can follow this link:

Reserve a 2023 CSA Share

Educational Resources

Winter Cover Crop Killing Strategies

I found this a useful one for those of us who are trying to make the best use out of cover crops in the late fall and winter. NOFA Podcast:


Meat Birds Available for Sale

We only have about 6 left for sale. Get them while supplies last. We also have a few packages of chicken feet, but the old layers are all sold out.

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

Yes, you can still add yourself to the MHOF workforce. Starting the first full week of December we are hosting working shareholders on M and F mornings with a modest pay check of 1 dozen eggs, a quart of frozen apple or pear sauce and greens from the hoop houses while they last.

Volunteer at MHOF

Community Opportunities

Circle of Song Concert, December 17, 7 pm, Barre Town Hall

(corner of Exchange and Mechanic). Don’t use GPS as it will take you to the Town offices on West St (122)

We are actually pretty good, and if you come to the concert, you can enjoy Jack’s famous deviled eggs at the end of the concert. Here is our line-up.

  • Esto Les Digo
  • Go Lovely Rose
  • Homage to Ward
  • Mzi Wase Afrika
  • Mary Had a Baby
  • O Magnum Mysterium
  • Regina Coelli

Then we will do 5 sing-along Christmas Carolss accompanied by our house band of 2 flutes, clarinet, 2 French horns, tuba and piano. And finally, we will end with the Hallelujah Chorus. Audience members are invited to go up front and sing with us. Don’t miss it!

Farm Doin’s

It was a short farm week. In 4 days, we made three trips to deliver the turkeys to the slaughter house, got them home and weighed them and returned them to the walk-in, all while juggling the distribution of 77 fall shares which we had picked last week. Then we sold birds and had a special farm stand with vegetables, meat, lard, tinctures, soap, salve and eggs. We slipped a pig move in, collected some leaves, and some of us cleaned the house for Thanksgiving. Special thanks to Luke, John, Melissa, Yojairo, Asher, Jason, Jill, Laurie, Danny, Alex, Paula, Scott, Kerri, Tom, Leslie and Kenny who made it possible to pull off.

The last turkeys on their way out

CSA shares and turkeys in our walk in

John and Melissa boarded up our pig house as they were freezing to death early this week. We also filled it full of a full tote of leaves

Prepping for the big sale

Paula was our Cinderella on Tuesday

Kerri and Paula with their store

Our first Thanksgiving lunch on Tuesday with Bob, an old NOFA friend

Jack, Leslie and Kenny managed the cash register

I hope your Thanksgiving met all your goals. We had a blast!


Quick Links

Buy meat
CSA pick up information
Contact Julie
Products available right now at the farm
Become a working shareholder