“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”– Deepak Chopra

October 30, 2023
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”– Deepak Chopra

Jonathan sent me a link to a Rich Roll podcast titled “Master of Change: Brad Stulberg on Rugged Flexibility and the Neuroscience of Expectations – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/master-of-change-brad-stulberg-on-rugged-flexibility/id582272991?i=1000625912789. I particularly liked Brad’s discussion of the raging pathway vs. the seeking pathway, and how we can turn off that rage by focusing on seeking and wondering.

On this topic, this summit below came up on my email – just in time to sign up for Monday.
The Art and Science of Cultivating Coherence with Christine Schaffner and Rollin McCarty – October 30 – November 5
I appreciate these free summits that one can sign up for and then listen to as many talks as time permits over the period of the week. Then at the end they often rerun some of them. Christine promises a bunch of neat topics regarding “heart hygiene” – using gratitude practice, breathwork, meditation, light, sound, and many more techniques.

I so like the idea of changing reaction to response, and how it can completely transform my most difficult relationships.

Expressing Gratitude this Week

Each week on the farm is filled with special and memorable moments. With the backdrop of amazing October weather, this week seemed almost magical.

Friday, I went out at 5 am in my bare feet to turn off the water to the one of the hoophouses. Listening to my Carl Sandburg book on Abraham Lincoln on my iPhone and using the phone’s flashlight, I started checking on lettuce plants and Asian greens that live in the now very safe haven of the interior of the houses away from the marauding deer. The light kept flashing on these beautiful almost ready lettuce plants that we will soon be able to share with the fall CSA. As I marveled at these beautiful plants while listening to an intimate biography of one of the world’s greatest people, I felt such gratitude for the life that I am so lucky to live surrounded by the daily miracle of nature.

Videos from this Week

Praise for arugula

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Salve making

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Marissa making frozen Asian greens

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Meat for Sale at MHOF

We do have some Thanksgiving turkeys still available, but they are going fast. Word to the wise.

Many Hands Make a Farm

We just received a bound final copy of our book, Many Hands Make a Farm, on Friday. Here is an excerpt from the chapter, Moving to the Country:

“Learning how to drive was terrifying, but Jack was very patient. And I was very motivated. I remember the day I took the driver’s test. I was 8 ½ months pregnant with Charlie, our youngest, and of course Jack and all the rest of the kids came along. It was easy for me. I simply turned all my attention to being calm for the sake of the driving instructor, who seemed to want to jump out of the car!”

We were grateful to receive this review of the book from Joel Salatin –
“Many Hands Make a Farm might be the most delightful book I’ve read in a long time. Rare in its raw, practical, from-the-heart stories, every challenging lesson is cloaked in respect and humor, and every page blossoms with wisdom and can-do spirit. I can’t imagine a better way to present a small-farm life lived exuberantly. Julie and Jack are pioneer icons of the ecological food and farming movement.”

Summer CSA wrap up

On our last day of the CSA the weather topped 70 degrees. It was a wonderful end of the season for us!

Please take a minute to fill out the survey linked here. It helps us plan for next year. I speak for all of us who work on the farm when I express my appreciation that your financial support for our farm makes the difference for us to be able to keep doing what we all love so much to do. https://forms.gle/bfGAkiyUPEWbtcVP8.

Fall CSA News – Week 1

We ended up with 83 shareholders for the fall share. Remember, everyone that this CSA runs for 4 weeks.
The fourth and final week will all be picked and distributed on Monday, November 20, even for the folks who will be picking up on Wednesday and Friday on the three previous weeks.
We hope to have a great selection for our first week –

  • Leeks
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Arugula
  • Green and yellow beans – we will harvest these one last time ahead of the frost that will come for at least three nights
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Winter squash

Volunteering at MHOF

Saturday, I met another wonderful person who came with Shantel and Alexandria to help with bird and hog chores. Now out in the rough fields, the 14 bird houses are no joke to move. Ahynia was a delightful and sharp addition to our team. Volunteers continue to be essential to our ability to accomplish the hundreds of tasks that we move through each week.

Ahnyia is a bad ass at moving bird houses

Cover cropping tip from Greencover Seeds – https://greencover.com/

How we build cover crop mixes for fall planting

Fall is the most common time to plant a cover crop but as the season changes, the ideal planting time for each plant species is going to shift as well. These planting time frames will determine how diverse or how simple a mix can be. Green Cover has a huge variety of species to choose from when making cover crop mixes and our team of sales representatives have the cumulative knowledge and experience to help walk you through the process of choosing the right mix for your planting window and your soil health goals.
Here are some basic guidelines for cover crop species planting windows based on the middle of the country, USDA plant hardiness zone 5a. These dates should be adjusted as you move north (subtract 1.5 – 2 weeks) or south (add 1.5 – 2 weeks).

August 1st – August 15th – The perfect time for maximum diversity as the majority of cover crop species found on our website can be used. There is enough summer heat to get good growth out of most of the warm season species yet the weather will cool down soon so partial rates of cool season species make sense as well. Full seeding rates of winter annuals like cereal rye and vetch should wait another couple weeks for best results.
August 15th – Sept. 15th – This time window is great for all cool season species. A few warm season species like buckwheat, sunflowers, safflower, grazing corn can still work but it is best to focus on cool season species as the calendar rolls into September. Excellent growth can be achieved by spring annuals like oats, peas, radish and turnips, but winter annuals can easily be added as well.
Sept. 15th – October 10th – No warm season species are recommended and spring annuals can be used but with the understanding that full growth potential may not be realized with an early winter. Excellent time for winter cereals along with peas and vetch. Cold hardy brassicas like rapeseed and camelina can still be used as well
October 10th – November 1 – Winter cereals like cereal rye and triticale work well along with hairy vetch.  Winter peas could work on the early end of this window if they are planted deep to keep the growing point protected.
After November 1st – Cereal rye is by far the best option for this late planting as it will germinate in 34 degree soils and can photosynthesize in temperatures as low as 38 degrees.  For these reasons, cereal rye can be planted even into early December in some years. Triticale and hairy vetch can be used in early November but fall growth will be very minimal and spring growth will be slower than what an earlier planting would afford.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and that these windows will vary from year to year with fall temperature and moisture. Please reach out to any of the Green Cover Sales Team if you have any questions or would like help in building the mix possible for your situation.

Good Health Info

Longevity: Do This To Build MUSCLE & LIVE Longer! | Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

She has an interesting book out titled Forever Strong that focuses in on skeletal muscle health – sounds like a good read.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz – The Surprising Truth About Chronic Pain

https://dreliaz.org/the-surprising-truth-about-chronic-pain/?utm_source=campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eliaz_oct23_nl_chronicpain&_kx=VHHjDK2XwIHehL2cydis51jg0Z7GwAqMO0uiUaYlYI0%3D.Syeesf This one is worth the read.

Jennifer’s recipe for the week

Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 large Butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 2 cups Celery, diced
  • 4 large Carrots, chopped in bite size pieces
  • 1/2 gallon of Chicken Feet stock or any broth of your choosing
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cumin or Hingvastak
  • Pink Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 5 Tablespoons of Ghee, butter or lard
  • Optional ingredients
    • Avocado
    • Nutritional yeast


  1. In large pot, melt ghee and sauté onions and celery with salt, pepper and spice for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, butternut squash and soup stock and simmer until all vegetables are soft.  Cook long enough for the butternut squash to break down a little bit making the soup a little thick.
  3. Serving hot!

Serving suggestions:

  1. Top each bowl with half of an avocado and nutritional yeast.
  2. Serve with fresh baked bread if desired or tortilla chips.

Son Dan has potatoes

$3/lb. – North Brookfield – contact him at 978-257-2627; dan@bionutrient.org

Farm Doin’s

Food preservation – Monday we knocked off a massive sauerkraut batch and some more squash for freezing.

Cooler update – We are getting used to putting together the CSA without a cooler. We have a lot more room in the barn, and can get around nicely. We heard this week that the new cooler is being shipped today to the company that is putting it in. They should be coming out to install it the week of November 6. Meanwhile Barre shareholders can find your shares somewhere obvious inside the barn.

Chicken house update – the chicken house team finished the soffits and faceboards and now have all the nailers in place for the side walls.

Jack, the man behind the scenes with maps and drawings for the chicken house.

End of summer CSA – It was with a sigh of relief that we finished up the summer CSA. Luckily there was only an insignificant frost, because we certainly are getting more and more deer damage.

Jackson enjoys some blueberry pie

North field trellises – we put those to bed on Tuesday with copious wood chip mulch.

Beginning of fall CSA- Alas, it looks as if there will be no fall beets, and the deer are now mowing off the carrot tops and gobbling up the parsley. As soon as we get the new walk in installed we will likely harvest as much as we can to keep it safe. The kale is now a favored crop for our nighttime friends.

Blueberry move – we have moved around a bunch of blueberry bushes from across the street in the annex as we never seem to take care of them as well as we should. The hill below the house is now well-organized with 42 bushes. Over the next weeks we will heavily woodchip around the berries.

Cleaning out the strip – There was a strip of short trellises below the garage that was a little too wet that we have discontinued. We will move some of the black raspberries over to the hill below the house and let that area go back to our comfrey plantation. I am feeling very good about this downsizing of our small fruit holdings.

More Clark students – We received another visit from a Clark University class on Friday. We enjoyed their help putting together the last CSA, working on the chicken house and pulling our old bean plants from the trellises in the west field.

We cut the last of the chives, weeded them, and mulched them heavily with wood chips

Packing the CSA

Jack talked to the students about food policy while the rest of us fed our faces.


Skippy is always nearby while we work, keeping an eye on our progress

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Link to buy J and J’s book – Many Hands Make a Farm-