I have been studying a lot recently about “all are one” and the wisdom of the masters which repeatedly states that we are all related, but I get really excited when I am part of something that is bigger than myself in a really tangible way. Our little somewhat inconsequential community chorus has been plugging along for 22 years now, having more or less impressive concerts over the years, always biting off more than we can chew. This spring is remarkable in that we are showing more and more glimpses of excellence to the point of clicking into a connected space of harmony with each other well past our individual talents and abilities. Getting a chance to be part of a larger whole is, in my opinion, a quintessential human opportunity. I wish for all of us the chance to be an integral part of a larger, expanded whole.
I welcome you to come share this with us on Saturday, May 20 at 7pm at the Barre Town Hall, corner of Exchange and Mechanic Streets.
Expressing Gratitude this Week
This week I am particularly grateful to Jennifer Peck, who stepped in quickly to take over for Christy Bassett as our Communications and Marketing Director. Jennifer has been around MHOF for the past 3 years, as a working shareholder, holding this very job for a few months and a strong advocate for our work. She is already focused on bringing in those last 49 shareholders.
And to Christy, who I first hired in 2017 when I was at NOFA. Christy has become a close friend and colleague and I look forward to our future adventures together.
Join the 2023 Summer and Fall CSA
We have 101 shareholders signed up for 2023 with 22 days left until the start of the CSA on May 30.
Join the MHOF CSA because we put a strong emphasis on fertility, our produce tastes better, smells better, keeps longer, and has a more vibrant color than most produce. Each week, all of our crops receive a foliar application of minerals and biological stimulants and inoculants that fire up the photosynthesis engine in the plants.
Cheap Health Tip
I am a complete neophyte with this ancient practice, but oh, does it make me feel good. I do 7 minutes per day with a great down to earth guy – Lee Holden. You can sign up for his 30-day challenge for $16.99 – https://lp.holdenqigong.com/30-day-qi-gong-challenge-homepage
Every part of your body receives a gentle stretch and the energy flows quickly and thoroughly, setting you up for another wonderful day in paradise. I just keep re-running the short classes each month.
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 469 subscribers. Subscribe here.
Resources from the Outside World
I guess I wasn’t listening to much this week!
Working Shareholders Always Welcome
The weather is beautiful right now (just a very few black flies) and we have plenty of occasions for you to build your physical body and nourish your spirit. M, T, Th, F – 8-12 and lunch. And right now, eggs and greens. What an opportunity. Contact Julie.
Welcome back Maria Leo!
Ways to Donate to MHSC
Many Hands Sustainability Center – our farm non-profit
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. 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 $5,300 If we can raise another $2540, 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.
Yes, they are still coming:
- Spinach – $12/lb.
- Lettuce mix – $12/lb.
- Chives – $3/bunch
Contact me Monday morning before 10am to order.
Workshops at MHOF
Growing Shiitakes Mushrooms on Logs with Many Hands Organic Farm
Saturday, May 13, 2023
10 am – noon with potluck lunch at noon
Many Hands Sustainability Center
411 Sheldon Road, Barre, MA
Come learn how to easily grow your own mushrooms at home! In this 2-hour hands on workshop we’ll be plugging our latest batch of oak logs with shiitake spawn. We’ll tour our mushroom yard in the woods and talk about managing logs for production throughout the season.
Price for workshop: $25-$75. Register here.
Other Upcoming Workshops
- 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
As we enjoyed another week of more rain showers than I could count, we made great progress on the farm. In the building department, Jonathan, John and Stu finished up the framing of two new chicken tractors.
We planted potatoes, 25 60-foot rows in total, and 7 of our 8 beds of onion seedlings – also 60 feet long and each bed containing 4 rows. In the south field we planted 2 long beds (about 120’ each) of carrots and 2 of beets.
We successfully covered all of our brassica plantings to date with row cover – broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, and also Swiss chard. We dusted the Asian green beds with ashes to deter the slugs, and thinned and weeded the turnips and radishes.
All of the dandelions are dried and put aside now, and our burdock, yellow dock and dandelion root tinctures have been strained and made ready for mixing for our bitters tinctures. We just have to wait two months to soak our angelica in vodka for two months before we have a potent bitters mix available for sale.
The baby layers arrived on Friday, starting a new season of egg production.
We further organized our fertility products for the long season ahead, mowed the lawns, spread fertilizer on our small fruits, finished weeding the rhubarb and got a good start on the blueberries.
The biggest news of the week is that Dave brought back our tractor on Friday afternoon after it being out for 3 weeks. Now we can get back to our chip mulching of perennials and setting up our bale chopper to mulch our annual plantings.