My friend Brenda Armstrong-Champ sent me this link to a wonderful podcast that John Kempf from AEA conducted with Charles Eisenstein. This entire podcast was full of thoughtful observations about farming and farmers, the environmental movement, life’s purpose, the golden rule, and inspiring conversation. I was particularly taken with this quote above that reminds us that we are part of the whole and that we have a purpose in using our talents to improve life around us. Here’s the link: https://regenerativeagriculturepodcast.com/episodes/episode-86-charles-eisenstein/
Jack and I went to Turners Falls Saturday night to see Charles in person. He has an inspirational and hopeful message.
Expressing Gratitude this Week and Crop Report
It is definitely Shawnee Phillips this week. She stopped by to borrow some chicken crates on Thursday and noticed that I was limping around, so scheduled an emergency home visit for Saturday to work on my plantar fasciitis in my right heel. After helping Jack and me corral a 23-chicken houseful of layers that had escaped, she ordered me up onto the kitchen table to work on my feet, legs, knees and hips Shawnee is kind of like a second daughter to me and Jack, and I am her oldest massage client, having started with her as her first guinea pig when she was in massage school. I feel so much better (and so loved), and am so grateful for her intervention with my lower half.
Videos this week
We are back putting things on You Tube and appreciate your subscriptions.
Progress in the garden and south field
Potato bed update
Crop update – progress in the beets and the garlic
If you remember, I was a bit at my wit’s end regarding the health of our beets. We took the advice of our AEA consultant Bella Prince to add a quart each of HoloK (potassium product) and Rebound Manganese to our foliars. We also spread potassium sulfate and also ProGro (NCO product). Here is are some before and after shots – pretty amazing improvement.
Emails from Shareholders
I first want to say I’m really enjoying the lamb quarters. I have to be honest, last year I was skeptical and put them out for the rabbits. I’m happy that I was brave to try them this year. They are amazing.
I cooked up this recipe this morning using all veggies from MHOF with the exception of the carrot that I got at Chase Hill Farm. The broth is even made from your old layers and chicken feet. I thought it might be a nice share for this week’s newsletter if you desire.
Here is the link to the recipe on my website. https://www.jenzenliving.com/recipes-2/recipe/50b61132-a1ad-40fd-83ef-174c05ee2502
Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I’m shocked that you gave your lamb’s quarters to you bunnies. But thanks for fessing up. I’ll publish in the newsletter in hopes that others will take advantage of your recipe.
CSA Schedule Fourth of July week
This year the 4th of July is on a Tuesday. That means that we will be running the CSA on Monday and Wednesday as usual, and Friday too, for that matter – July 3, 5 and 7. Thanks. If you are going to be away, but don’t want to miss your share, you can move your day to either Wednesday or Friday of that week, but give me 3- or 4-days’ notice. You can pick up at the farm only, if you change your day.
CSA News Week 6
Here is the line up for this week.
Best guess on what will be in your share bags this week
- Onions – the greens on these are getting a little bit more mature. I am presently not using the plant all the way to the tip, cut shortening them a bit, and still using most of the greens
- Beets – the greens have become beets
- Collards – we need desperately to weed this crop, and here is a little trick for how we get that accomplished – serve it for the CSA
- Parsley – new arrival, all mulched and ready to be a consistent crop each week
- Some summer squash – a very few for some folks
- Some peas – the peas have been late this year and we are now just starting the sugar snaps. There will be a few, and not enough for all shares yet
- Oregano – back and ready to go again
- Rhubarb – this crop sprung back again and we can give another round
- Kale – this will be a standard now
- Some broccoli – at this juncture we have a little bit each picking day and we are spreading it around in the shares over 2-3 weeks
- Cilantro – succession number two of this crop – also using this occasion to get it weeded
- Radishes – finishing the bed this week
Working Shareholders Always Welcome
It is not too late to join us.
I could use help on Sunday mornings for animal chores. You must be a heavy lifter (heavier than I am anyway) in order to handle the back end of the chicken tractors. Presently we are at 7 tractors and soon moving to 9 and more. Breakfast of eggs, bacon and veggies, along with super power packed pancakes – no sugar, just lots of grains and nuts. And a dozen eggs for your efforts. All advice is given freely! You needn’t sign up for every Sunday, but twice per month would be very much appreciated.
Now is a good time to order broilers for our August 27 slaughter date
They are chilling on the front lawn right now, in the peak of health, devouring fresh grass, comfrey and their organic grain from Green Mountain Feeds. We offer hens at around 5 lbs. and cockerels at around 7 lbs. This is a one time per year purchase. The birds are whole. We have one per week. First we roast it, then make chicken stock, have another major meal with that, and have a few meals that include chicken salad. It is the best chicken you will ever taste – guaranteed. Order via the link below.
Ways to Donate to MHSC
Worcester Community Fridges
We are now providing 14 summer shares to these folks and only need $1000 more to provide 14 fall shares to the Worcester Community Fridges.
If you would like to donate for shares you can make a check out to the Many Hands Sustainability Center and send to 411 Sheldon Road, Bare, MA 01005 or make a donation on line here – https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=E54BUH3JJRZ74
Workshops at MHOF
Cooking with your CSA share
Saturday, July 22, 2023
10 am – noon followed by farm lunch
Many Hands Sustainability Center
411 Sheldon Road, Barre, MA
Taking the large step to buy a CSA share is sometimes followed by overwhelm, especially for those who may not center their eating around vegetables. Clare Caldwell and Julie Rawson, farmers at Many Hands Organic Farm will take the share from the week of July 17 and turn it into a delicious lunch for us all to eat. Last year the CSA received these items during that week – chard, parsley, lettuce, chives, kale, summer squash, cucumbers, beets, sugar snap peas, radishes.
Limit – 12 participants. Price for workshop: $25-$75. Register here:
Other Upcoming workshops:
- Food preservation– September 16, Julie, Clare and Jack; 10-2 with pot luck; $50-$100
- The Permaculture Farm and Agroforestry hedgerows – we will postpone this one until October 7.
The Solstice is over and now the real work is upon us. With rain several days this past week, and then farmer friendly temperatures we were able to make massive progress on getting crops situated for long-term growth.
Clare, Chloe, Julie, Kamarin, Jonathan and Paula working in the torrential rain on Wednesday
In the west field the 5 kale beds are now all mulched, as are the three chard beds, along with a bed of celery.
Stu, Matt, Leslie mulching celery with Kamarin out of site shoveling buckets of wood chips
In the garden we mulched two young broccoli and two young cabbage beds, mulched the 5 summer squash beds and two cucumber beds and two tomato beds. The four rows of corn we weeded, thinned and under sowed with clover, buckwheat and phacelia. Moving on to the south field we weeded, thinned and half mulched and half clovered the other four beds of corn, weeded the 7 winter squash beds, and mulched about 75% of them. In the north, we finished mulching the flat parsley and also completed mulching the orange house – from where we expect our best crop of cucumbers. We did some weeding in our next lettuce beds in the back of the south. And in the pond field we weeded and hilled 2 of the remaining five beds of potatoes and brought our mulched bed total up to 19 out of 26, with 7 remaining. Whew! So much more to do, but so much done. On July 1, I do feel we are further ahead than we have been any year previously, and for that I am grateful.
These Keuka gold potato plants are the best looking potato plants we have ever raised
The meat birds were separated into four houses and moved into the pond field over the stone wall from the front lawn. The old layers and young layers are wending their way to the pond field also, one house length at a time from the stretch between the garden and south and the home orchard. Kamarin has taken over almost all management of the pigs, for which I am very grateful. Kamarin has now started arriving at 6 am so we can get a very early start, followed by our sprayers – Clare, Jonathan, Tim, Jonathan and Danny at 6:30. Paula is here by 6:30 or 7. Altogether we can get most all of our chores done before the 8 am workers arrive(Marissa, Jill, Jack, Stu, Matt, John, Leslie, Scott, Maria) and we head to the CSA on M, W, F, or field work on T and Th.
This week upcoming will be slower with only 4 work days and a few folks on vacation, and lots of later crops to plant.
Abundance is all around us!