I have been a fan of Dawson Church and his work with Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) for a few years. Lately it seems that the universe is suggesting to me that it is time to start meditating. I have been a died in the wool non-meditator for decades; I was too busy. But perceptions and even principles change and we are suddenly ready for the next step. I came across Church’s book, Bliss Brain where he not only makes a good case for making a meditation commitment, but also makes it easy with a very interactive webpage to help late adaptors like me get started. Check it out – https://blissbrainbook.com/1/. I have to say that this 15 minutes per day feels so good!
Special gratitude this week goes to
Walter Anair – keeping at chicken slaughter for one more year. Walter is just a couple months behind Jack as the calendar pushes forward, so is what you call a guy who is active in his later years. We buy all of our feed from Horse and Buggy Feeds in Winchendon, the business that he and his wife Mary put together in their youth. And they slaughter all of our birds (sometimes with our help). We are grateful that he is keeping at it!
Paulette – a wonderful customer of many years stopped by to pick up her pork on Friday. Somehow, we got to talking about her grandson who had died from leukemia. As she told her story, I was drawn back to when we lost our young son-in-law to leukemia. We shared some tears together. And then we talked of that grandson’s little brother who loves to garden and discussed a provisional plan for him to come and be a working shareholder in 2023. Thanks for sharing an important slice of your life with me, Paulette.
Farm Videos From Last Week
Join the 2023 Summer and Fall CSA
Thanks to the folks who are signing up 4 months in advance. Never too early to sign up! The prices are in place for 2023 now. Prices below for your convenience.
Sliding scale – For those of you who want to support a more affordable share for others, you can pay the top of the range. And for those who are of more limited finances, feel free to choose a lower number.
Delivery/handling fee – Trying to make our Paypal options as manageable as possible, we have decided to fold delivery /handling into the share price.
Here are the rates for 2023
Summer large – $750-$850
Summer medium – $550-$650
Summer small – $425-$525
Fall – $170
Summer large – $700
Summer medium – $500
Summer small – $400
Fall – $160
SNAP customers reach out to Julie to set up a payment plan.
Pickups all over Central Mass
- At the farm in Barre
Lots of Resources from the Outer World
I think this woman is pretty sharp. Pay attention particularly to the castor oil section. I am now using castor oil!
This is a problem that so many of us struggle with. Good solid advice for self-care.
How To Heal Leaky Gut And Improve Microbiome Diversity With Kiran Krishnan & Alex Manos
I think that Kiran is way up there on the intelligence scale. Get to know your digestive system like you never have before. What I really appreciate about his work is that it runs parallel with the unfolding knowledge that we farmers are gaining regarding the microbiology in the soil system, and how to best support them.
and another by him.
For a long time now, my erratic connection with the more traditional medical world has alerted me (with blood tests), that my total cholesterol, triglycerides and sugar levels are slowly rising. I felt I had two choices – go completely vegan (how would I ever live that down? 😊), or work with someone who is right there in plain sight, but somehow my vision was blurred, and I missed it.
Daughter Ellen to the rescue. Ellen has continued to press her self-education in many directions. She is working closely with MicroBiome Labs, Kiran Krishnan’s company, to help people with gut dysbiosis – an “imbalance” in the gut microbial community that is associated with disease. Most of us have it, sadly, and when it happens, the act of eating creates toxins in our digestive tract. Why? Because we have leaky guts. Why? Well, it could be what we eat, but it can also be the unending onslaught of chemicals, radiation, electromagnetic frequencies, and pollutants of all types that our poor bodies now have to work with every day.
Ellen gifted a stool test with MicroBiome labs to both her mother and father and we are on the way. You can work with her, if interested. First, a couple more videos to help you understand the intricacies of digestion.
Here’s a three-minute video on Leaky Gut and the Total Gut Restoration Kit:
30-minute video with Kiran about metabolic endotoxemia and chronic illness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SmWaovaFHY
Here’s Ellen’s website for microbiome labs: https://microbiomelabs.com/register/?ref=Biome
Pork for Sale
We have some cuts for sale. All we have left is roasts and regular style ribs. The cost $12/lb.
Preorder Young Laying Hens
We will have 25 young laying hens available for sale this early summer. They will be eight weeks old and available the week of June 26. We will have white leghorns and high-performance hybrid reds (they have Rhode Island Red parentage). If you want to look into the breeds further, you can find them here – https://www.freedomrangerhatchery.com/product-category/day-old-chicks/egg-layers/ (Novogen Brown Egg Layers and Novogen Leghorns.)
The leghorns always are a bit crazy, but don’t eat much and lay copious numbers of eggs. The reds are calmer and can be easily tamed and also lay high numbers of eggs. The price per hen is $25. They spend their first 4 weeks in the brooder house and the next 4 on range. Contact Julie to order. Likely to sell out soon.
Working Shareholders Always Welcome
Though we have always counted on our working shareholders to meet the labor needs around here, they have become more essential to accomplishing our work each week. Joining this team assures you a warm place in the MHOF community while also giving you a weekly excuse to stretch your muscles. Working shareholders in January and February are welcome Monday and Friday mornings from 8-12. Come at 7 for breakfast and stay afterward for lunch.
Ways to Donate to MHSC
Many Hands Sustainability Center – our farm non-profit
Many kind folks have been making an annual donation to the MHSC (read about it here – https://mhof.net/many-hands-sustainability-center/) since 2007 through the present. This goes into our general operations of the MHSC and usually helps pay for hiring an outstanding Stetson School student. Recently the MHSC has helped with funding the publication of this newsletter which utilizes significant resources to publish each week. If you are interested in donating to special programs that help make our high quality food available to folks with lesser means, you are welcome to donate to these two programs below.
We have been donating food to this elegantly simple project in Worcester whereby four refrigerators are stocked with fresh produce from volunteers, and those in need shop for free at these locations. I had a good meeting with Maria Ravelli of Community Fridges. They are in for next year and will be fundraising on their end to keep this enjoyable partnership going.
We received our first Community Fridges donation this year. Thank you, John and Chris! We are hoping to raise $4165 this year.
SNAP recipients are encouraged to use SNAP and Healthy Incentive Program funds to purchase a MHOF CSA share. We work with around 20 of those customers each year and provide a slightly discounted share to these folks. A total of $1,000 in donations will help us defray the costs of providing this assistance to these valued shareholders.
Workshops at MHOF
Pruning and Managing an Orchard
Trees, Grapes and Small Fruit
Saturday, April 1, 2023, 10 am – noon followed by potluck lunch
Few things agricultural give you as much joy and satisfaction as a bountiful crop of healthy fruit. Yet it takes a few years of time and steady effort to achieve these results. Make sure that time is well spent! Learn how to manage and prune tree fruit, berries, and grapes at our Spring workshop. We have 100 trees in our orchard and produce apples, pears, peaches, paw paws, mulberries, grapes, blueberries and raspberries every year. We will discuss our fertility management practices and share our foliar and drench recipes. This is a hands-on event. We will supply tools. Cost: Sliding Scale: $25-$75 per person. Register here.
Building and Using a Chicken Tractor
Saturday, April 1, 2023, 10 am – noon followed by potluck lunch
Pasturing poultry gives your birds access to the extra nutrients only Nature can supply best. Yet how do you protect them from predators out on grass? A well-designed range-house “tractor” offers security from hawks, owls and four-footed varmints. Each year we raise 500-600 birds in these “tractors” on pasture. Two people feed and water the animals and move their range houses by hand every day to fresh grass. We will be moving some for this workshop presentation, as well as building one so you can get up close and learn how it is done. Cost: Sliding Scale: $25-$75 per person. Register here.
Other Upcoming Workshops
Growing Shiitakes Mushrooms on Logs – Saturday, May 15, 2023; 10-12 with potluck lunch; $25-$75; Jonathan and Clare to lead
MHOF vegetable production intensive (all day) – June 10; 10-3 with pot luck lunch; $50-$100, Clare and Julie to lead
Cooking with your CSA share – July 22; Clare and Julie to do this one. 10-noon with complimentary lunch; $25-$75
Food preservation – September 16, Julie, Clare and Jack; 10-2 with pot luck; $50-$100
And one more workshop is coming your way: agroforestry, hedge rows and permaculture with Jono Neiger on June 24 – 10-3. We should have a full write up by next week…
Monday we were able to completely finish the unmasking of the solar panels from the local thugs. There were 10 of us present with chainsaws, clippers and loppers. They will be back of course (the thugs), but we got the leg up for now.
Stu and Jonathan finished our cat shit guards for the flower boxes.
There have been sightings of cats peeing through the welded wire, however. And we finished the second row of fruit tree pruning in the pond orchard. That was a very fun project on a beautiful sunny and warm day. A couple of trees still showed fireblight that we first noticed in 2021, but we pruned them heavily and will start our post-fireblight rejuvenation foliar April 1.
Here is our recipe from AEA
Apple and Pear: Fireblight Control
Per acre –
Continue until no new fireblight strikes are observed. Then use half rate.
- 6 Quart SeaStim
- 6 Quart SeaCrop
- 2 Quart ReBound Boron
- 2 Quart ReBound Copper
- 150 Gram Micro 5000 Organic
- 1 t. Spectrum – from Tainio Technologies
We collate these minerals and then use 1 quart per 4-gallon tank, topped off with water, adding Spectrum at the last minute.
While I made my annual trek to the eye doctor on Thursday Clare and Jonathan cut down some trees in the west field that are blocking southerly sun, cleaned out and organized the tractor bay of the farm and repaired individually to our farm catalog trifold, certification application and the bathtub tiles.
Friday we told the working shareholders to stay home and Jonathan cleaned up in the basement work bench area and the storage shelves while I alerted pork customers regarding the ham and bacon that Clare picked up Tuesday. Clare got really close to finishing certification, and I started on a careful update of the website. At end of day Jonathan went on line to all the places we are listed and started updating them. Eliza and Maggie taught school, played hide and seek and worked on their calculator skills. And it did get down to -14 degrees. Let’s hope the peaches are okay.
The feng shui around here is getting daily more coherent!