No Shame, No Blame, Just Growth

No Shame, No Blame, Just Growth

-Michael Singer

I ran into this thoughtful guy serendipitously this week and enjoyed his outlook on life.

He reminded me of my dad and his story of the new guy who came to town and asked someone, “Is this a friendly town?” The other person asked a question back, “Was the last town you were in friendly?” “No” responded the new guy. The local responded, “Then this town won’t be friendly either.” It is kind of a backwards way of saying that we make our own reality, each and every day. Attitude is a cool thing, that we have 100% control over. Michael Singer has a few books to check out – The Surrender ExperimentThe Unfettered SoulLiving from a Place of SurrenderLiving Unfettered – you get the picture. Now, all I have to do is not lose it, next time I am triggered!

Expressing Gratitude this Week

We got a big delivery of all of our AEA fertility liquids on Tuesday, and it was coming at the end of the day, and Jack and I had plans to leave at 4:30. The truck driver called three times that day, honing in on a delivery time, that looked initially to arrive right around 4:30. During his last call around 3 he said he would put the pedal to the metal and try to be here by 4:15. He pulled in at 3:50, and then, while talking a mile a minute, backed up to the garage, took the pallet off the liftgate and then used his pallet jack to park the pallet right up against one of the garage walls. What a guy. It inspired me to remember to operate my life in that fashion.

And there is Fern Bradley, our editor for our book that Jack and I are writing with Chelsea Green. From the very start about 18 months ago, Fern has been competent, thoughtful, insightful, timely, thorough, professional and friendly, with clearly strong editorial chops. I am grateful to Fern who has shepherded Jack and me through this profound experience of writing a retrospective of our lives.

Jack and Julie are Writing a Book

You probably heard that already, but it is getting closer to done. This week after numerous emails back and forth between us and Fern Bradley, our editor from Chelsea Green, we came up with a title that is good for all of us, and CG’s CEO Margo Baldwin. The title will be Many Hands Make a Farm 47 Years of Questioning Authority, Feeding a Community, and Building an Organic Movement by Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson. And last week, long time friend and former employee Leah Penniman agreed to write the foreword. The book is slated to come out in November.

Join the 2023 Summer and Fall CSA

We have 85 shareholders signed up for 2023 (10 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!

Reason number 4 to join the CSA
When you join the MHOF CSA you are supporting excellent environmental management. Our vegetables are grown in a no till, carbon sequestering, water recycling fashion that improves the soil structure and supports biodiversity in plant, animal and insect life.

Reason number 5 to join the CSA
At MHOF we pay very fair wages that start at $15/hour, and our employees and volunteers receive our “health insurance” that includes a weekly share, breakfast and lunch – true health insurance.

Reserve a 2023 CSA Share

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 446 subscribers. Subscribe here.

Lactobacillus pH testing

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Corn residue

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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.

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 some generous Community Fridges donations this year. Thanks to Brenda and Joe for their donation this week. We have raised $1,600 so far. To provide 14 summer shares and 14 fall shares there will be a total need of $7840. The Community Fridge folks have committed $3500 as of this week. And with our donations from you all, the amount committed is now $5,100. If we can raise another $2740, we will be able to provide these shares. If you would like to donate for shares you can make a check out to the Many Hands Sustainability Center or make a donation online here:


Thanks in advance for your generosity.

For Sale

Spinach and Arugula Asian Green mix for sale this week

We have 5 lbs. of spinach and 3 lbs. of arugula mix available for sale at $12/lb. Call or text to Julie at 978-257-1192 to order, or email at First come first served.

Workshops at MHOF

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

Bark Spray

We are trying to be very proactive with particularly the fireblight which outbroke in 2021 in our apple trees; so we worked with Advancing EcoAgriculture to put together a bark spray to give the trees a leg up this spring. Friday Danny and Jonathan applied this spray to all of our fruit trees. Next week we will spray all of the small fruits.


  • 6 quarts SeaStim
  • 6 quarts SeaCrop
  • 1 quart Rejuvenate
  • 1 quart Lactobacillus brew

Mix all of this together in a 5-gallon pail, and then use 1 quart per tank in a backpack sprayer and top off with water. Add 1 T of Micro5000 to each tank. Spray on the bark of the trees. This is like a spa treatment to get the trees going right now.

Events Elsewhere

The Spiritual Anatomy of the Earth: Ley Lines, Vortexes & Dragon Paths
Learn about the subtle energy anatomy of Earth, with David Yarrow, earth advocate and master dowser.

Sunday, April 16, 11:30-5:00pm

11:30am -1:00pm: Potluck Lunch
1:00pm – 5:00pm: Workshop
Donation: $13 – $34 sliding scale @ the door / All proceeds go to David Yarrow
Hosted By: Dan Kittredge
Contact Info: / 978 257 2627

Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture teach of our electromagnetic body of “chi” circulating in meridians. Earth has similar subtle energy anatomy to shield, shelter & structure geology, biology & ecology for life to flourish.

Magnetism, Water & Soil express this subtle geophysical life energy. Plant, insect & animal sense & respond to these invisible fields, but humans long ago lost this conscious culture, thus ignore, disturb& disrupt this grid.

Learn to sense, study & understand networks of coherent connection. Join Nature’s internet: the world wild web. A survey of Kittredge Farm will detect & map the fields & flows of the land.

Stewardship of our planet calls & challenges us to awaken to these forgotten features, redesign society & technology, to enhance, restore & regenerate Earth’s metaphysical body.

Come dance and sing with creation.

RSVP here:

Interesting Podcasts

Optimize Your Brain and Body with DNA Analysis

This procedure is a little too expensive for my blood, but you might find it interesting that so much of how we operate in the world is driven by our DNA, according to Kashif Kahn.

Farm Doin’s

What a great week of accomplishment. That, of course, is essential this time of year if we are going to be ready for all those CSA shares at the very end of May.

Monday, we finished cleaning out the winter chicken house.

It is now ready for deconstruction as we plan to erect a new structure in its place this year. Friday, we sprayed some biologicals, including our new lactobacillus brew on the stacked chicken bedding at the back of the farm. I look forward to using this rich compost for our troublesome crops – cucumbers and eggplant – this year.

Jordan helped Jonathan repair a chicken house roof

We zipped around and finished pruning our grapes, and a couple of apple trees that needed work, along with cutting off damaged limbs from our orchards that happened during the big snow storm a couple of weeks ago. We got started on the red raspberries, but have a couple long days of pruning left to finish our small fruit pruning.

Pruning the old Baldwin apple that got hit hard with fireblight

We made a lot of progress on wood management Monday, but the splitter started spewing hydraulic fluid and we have not gotten back to that.

The tractor has been down all week too and is sitting out in the orchard waiting for hydraulic parts.

We uncovered the garlic (some of it has to be rescued from heavy leaf mulch and got some hoophouse weeding done also.

Again, that storm took down 6 of our permanent trellises, so Friday we were able to get them all back in shape.

Post pounding and zip tying

Jonathan is getting ready to make two new chicken tractors and purchased all of the lumber on Friday. He also almost finished the bathroom. It is beautiful. Come and use it!

We spread a bunch of our annual dry fertilizer, and also did some more tarping. These jobs will both hopefully be accomplished this upcoming week.

The tractor is down and Jonathan had the truck, so we brought out the trusty Subaru farm car to haul bags of sand.

Matt helped Clare in spraying the soil before tarping with rejuvenate, Spectrum and lactobacillus

More seedlings came out of the greenhouse to the hoophouse. And Friday RJ McDonald brought us 6 dump truck loads of wood chips! And then Gary Shepherd brought over his loader to unload the 28 large hay bales – 3’x3’x7’ over the week end. We are in the mulch!

Full hoophouse


Quick Links

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