Put it under a bushel no, I’m gonna let it shine.

How many of us hide large portions of ourselves due to fear that others won’t like what they see, our behavior might start fights or wagging fingers, or isolation? I face that choice every day, often just in tiny ways, which might seem inconsequential at the time. I write this on my 70th birthday, and what better time at the beginning of a new year and a new decade to commit to fully showing up each day with all of my gifts, be they well-developed or perhaps still a work in progress? I invite you all to do the same. Happy work in progress!

Expressing Gratitude this Week

Thank you to the East Quabbin Land Trust who awarded us $2,000 this week to spread our education about our regenerative practices around soil health. They also will pay for all of the inputs that will go into our various brews and ferments. We will share all of our info with you.

Farm Videos From Last Week

We are in the process of trying to sign up 1,000 subscribers to our YouTube channel. With that in hand, and with 4,000 hours of viewing, we can then apply to start monetizing our site, which could become a viable income stream for the farm. Right now, we’re at 415 subscribers. Subscribe here.

MHOF on YouTube

Musing on spinach health

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Planting oats as cover crops pre-season

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Starting lettuce

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Join the 2023 Summer and Fall CSA

We have 75 shareholders signed up for 2023 (9 new ones this past week) and are looking for about 150 in order to meet budget. Now is a good time to take the leap to upgrade how you eat and how you feel. Sign up today. Information is below Thanks for keeping that CSA application investment coming!

Reserve a 2023 CSA Share

Reason number three to join the CSA

You can’t beat the community at Many Hands. We are full of the energy of life, purpose, good health, and good times. Be part of this farm that supports your nutrition for the body and the soul.

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Working Shareholders Always Welcome

We are able to make the finances work here by working with volunteers who “sing for their supper” so to speak, receiving a large share of produce for their efforts, and undying appreciation and pats on the back. Right now we are taking working shareholders on M, T, Th and F from 8-12  (we have expanded days) with lunch, eggs, and applesauce or hoophouse greens. Come and join us.

Tim Fullen started with us this past week. As it turns out he was here 10 years ago with a class from Worcester State. After letting him wrestle with the largest chunks of wood and the splitter we moved onto the chicken house cleaning and then did some tarping and sandbagging! What a guy.

Scott Jiusto

Scott was looking to spend time doing something physical, outdoors, different, productive, and fun–and was eager to eat good veggies. So he searched online for CSA farms near Worcester and MHOF popped up. The rest is history. Scott enjoys doing pretty much anything he turns his mind and hands to on the farm– hoeing, planting, mulching, chickening, harvesting, talking, talking, talking, laughing, eating, caring and more. At home Scott is negligent about almost anything to do with gardening, plants, food production, lawn mowing, etc., so the farm is a great way to commit to practicing those skills. It’s a weekly 4-hour experience wrestling with the life-sustaining forces of nature (and other people), enmeshed in what it takes to assure we have something to eat, after which I can be blissfully free from all of the ongoing daily discipline needed to keep that effort going until I arrive back a week later and plug back in. In the meanwhile he can be confident that Julie, Clare, Jonathan and a cast of thousands (or at least dozens) will have kept the whole operation going.

Community Bulletin Board

The Good Farm is Hiring

The Good Food Farm is a no-till, production, market farm in Ashby, Massachusetts raising vegetables and laying hens for eggs, focusing heavily on nutrient density and carbon sequestration. We’re looking for one more person to join our crew this summer as we create synergistic systems, grow delicious, nutrient dense food, partner with nature, and invest in our community! Farming or related experience preferred. More details available on our website at www.thegoodfood.farm

  • Full time, 40 hours per week. Monday-Friday with potential for Saturday chores/market duties.
  • Seasonal: April-October with potential to join our team longer term
  • $15 per hour
  • On farm worker housing available

Responsibilities will include all aspects of production (seeding/proposition, planting, weeding, harvesting, etc.), post production (washing and packing), and distribution (markets, delivery, etc.)

Andrew Johnson
Manager, The Good Food Farm
Ashby, MA
(424) 282-4190

Ellen’s Cleanse

I am excited to be offering a 7 Day Cleanse beginning April 10th!

This Cleanse follows my newer Cleanse format, which involves you receiving a full menu plan with daily recipes (and suggested replacements as needed), and a shopping list with exactly what you need to get for the 7 days. I ran this type of Cleanse for the first time last autumn, and it was a real hit!
This Cleanse is perfect if you are an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan! And I will of course be providing education about some of the important nutrition hot topics like oxalates, histamine and lectins on this Cleanse, and helping you to determine if you need to go deeper than just avoiding the main inflammatory foods (which is the basis for this Cleanse).

All the Cleanse details are here: https://ellenkittredge.com/7-day-cleanse.php

I have 4 guest presenters this time around, who will be assisting me with the education and inspiration aspect of the Cleanse!

We’ll have:

  1. Two live movement classes to join in with if you wish
  2. Practices to support nervous system regulation with a qualified practitioner
  3. A class on making digestive bitters (one of the MOST important things you can be doing to optimize digestion!)
  4. Guided exercises for clearing stagnation from the brain, head and sense organs – this take decluttering to a whole new level!

Plus a couple Zooms with me, my office hours where you can connect privately with me, daily email support, and of course 30 brand new recipes that you’ve never seen before!

Blessings of good health to you and yours! I look forward to supporting you for a healthy reset if you’re feeling the call to lighten the load this spring!


Ways to Donate to MHSC

Many Hands Sustainability Center – our farm non-profit

Community Fridges

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. We have received a few Community Fridges donations this year. We have raised $1,350 so far.

To provide 14 summer shares this year there will be a total need of $6650. The WCF folks will attempt to raise “their” half, and we will raise our half – $3325. Here below is their promotional material. If you would like to donate to us directly, write a check to MHOF. If you would like to donate to them directly, here is the link –
Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Workshops at MHOF

Recap of Fruit Management Workshop

9 hardy souls turned out for our workshop on Saturday. Though the worst of the rain coincided with us going out to prune, we had a wonderful time and participated in one of the most generous and tasty pot lucks that I think I have ever been part of.

Here below is a bit of the workshop captured on video, though some of it didn’t make it.

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More Upcoming Workshops

Building and Using a Chicken Tractor
Saturday, April 22, 2023
10 am – noon followed by potluck lunch
Many Hands Sustainability Center
411 Sheldon Road, Barre, MA

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.

Price for workshop – $25-$75. Register here.

Other Upcoming Workshops

  • Growing Shiitakes Mushrooms on Logs – Saturday May 13; 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
  • The Permaculture Farm and Agroforestry hedgerows – June 24; 10-3 with pot luck lunch: $50-$100; Jono Neiger 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

Register here

Farm Doin’s

Every day this week was segmented into an hour of this or an hour of that as we have this glorious list of crucial responsibilities to accomplish.

We are working assiduously to get all of the work done on wood collection so we can set that aside for several months. Jonathan is on the chainsaw with his even-tempered thorough approach, now cutting up very large oaks, and the rest of us run through our paces on the splitting and stacking. We run races around how many pieces of wood we can split at once, never wasting a moment as the splitter moves slowly from side to side. One more week for us to finish up!

We moved a lot of fertilizer this week. Thanks to Candido and Luke
Clare has doggedly led us through the grape pruning this week, managing smaller or larger crews as we clip and tie according to her leadership. We are just about 5 plants short of getting this intricate job concluded also.

Clare and Leslie on the grape arbor

There is lots of great food coming out of the hoophouses right now. Stop by and enjoy a salad with us.

And we moved a lot of seedlings out of the greenhouse, starting 26 more trays on Friday afternoon.

The chickens went out on pasture this week, right before the weather took a dip. So lots of frozen water this year, and ladies a little disgruntled about laying their eggs in their outdoor laying boxes.

But soon there will be lots of grass and their complete free range will be a distant memory. We put our new guy, Tim, through his paces on Friday cleaning out the winter chicken house – always a favored task.

We did some tarping, finished washing windows and putting up screens, mulched some blueberries, planted some oats for cover crops, and welcomed John Duke who trained Jack in how to use a microscope to view all our soil critters.


Quick Links

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Contact Julie
Products available right now at the farm
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