Hum for Humanity

Everyone is talking about the big solar eclipse that is happening today. – this website tells you what time it will be with you – looks like 3:23-3:33 for us in Barre. The Hum for Humanity folks – -want us all to hum on middle C for the duration. Now, I think this is really cool. Especially supporting this “Science of Awe” researcher Paul Piff has done research that shows the being in Awe makes us more meaning, health, humility, and kindness. And what will be more awesome for all of us than to be “together” as this solar eclipse flows over us today. Jack and I will be out on the front lawn this afternoon with our eclipse glasses. I hope you all will take a minute to stop what you are doing, and enjoy this special event which will not happen at this level for 20 more years.

Expressing Gratitude this Week

It goes to Luke MacLean this week. As you might remember, he recently joined our staff after hanging in the periphery for 1 1/2 years. Not only does he have an even and calm presence, but he moves steadily and competently through each day, and is a young enough male to be able to do the heavy lifting without compromising his frame. He is humble, but very skilled at whatever he takes on. The frosting on the cake is that he has incredible IT skills and over the past two weeks has helped both me and Jack clean up a few computer and cell phone issues. I spent a moment observing him fixing my cell phone and took pleasure in his utter enjoyment at the fixes he was making. Yes, folks, we have been gifted another winner! Thanks, Luke.


I turned 71 on Monday

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Raking in the cover crop seeds on an area that will later be corn

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Enhancing our aronia plantation

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Join Our CSA

We have set prices for 2024 and are ready to receive your subscriptions for our summer CSA – running 22 weeks from June 3 – November 1. The fall CSA runs from November 4 – November 25.

Summer CSA:

  • Large – $775 – $875; SNAP – $725
  • Medium – $575-$675; SNAP – $525
  • Small – $450 – $550; SNAP – $425

Why the Sliding Scale? Pay according to your means. It all comes out in the wash, so to speak. Thank you.

On April 5, we have raised $23,662.21. Our Goal is $80,191. That’s 29.51%. – up 4.13% from last week

Order your Summer CSA share here

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Does anyone belong to a group that would like me to come and talk about the CSA? I am happy to present it to your colleagues, customers or friends.

Many Hands Make a Farm

You can buy our book here.

Volunteering at MHOF

As we begin the ramping up of the season, we are particularly looking for volunteers to join us as working shareholders. Starting in April we will add another day – Wednesday, to the days one can volunteer. And when the CSA starts in June, we will particularly need working shareholders on M, W, and F mornings 8-12 (with lunch). For now, volunteers receive a dozen eggs and something from our freezer for your efforts, and starting in June you will receive a large CSA share for your efforts. Come for the community, the exercise, the sun, the camaraderie, the food, the education – you name it. We have so much fun. Be in touch.

Community Fridges

We are partnering again with the Worcester Woo Fridge which operates 4 refrigerators around the city for anyone who needs food. We are setting a goal of 16 this year.  That is a total of $9760. We now have in hand $3,353.46. Thanks to Petra and Kathy for very generous donation this past week.

We have an anonymous donor who will match our donations $1 for $1 up to $4,880. With what we have in hand, our present goal for donations comes to $1,526.54. We are within striking distance!

Check out this link to find out more about the Community Fridges locations in Worcester –

You can write a check to MHSC and send it to us at 411 Sheldon Road, Barre, MA 01005 or donate on line here. We are quite enthused about this match this year.

2024 Workshop Series

Here are the next two workshops. You can find the others on the website here –

Navigating the new normal- power equipment and implements on the farm and homestead.
Saturday, May 11, 2024
9am-12noon with pot luck lunch
Price: $50 – $100 sliding scale
Presenter: Dave Petrovick with support from Jonathan Anderson

Are you confused on how to enter into the realm of tractors, implements and power equipment? There are many time and labor saving pieces of equipment available lately and with rampant sticker shock everywhere, how do you choose what to buy? For those who have equipment already, how do I maintain it? Can I repair it? Should I repair it, or bite the bullet and upgrade? Interested in starting a new enterprise on the farm? What will I need?

We will discuss these and other subjects. I am a diesel mechanic, certified welder and farmer with 40 years of experience with agricultural and construction equipment. You’ll have access to insights and experience that will help you confidently delve into the world of power equipment, implements and tractors.

Starting Seeds and Seedlings
Saturday, May 25, 2024
9am – 12noon with pot luck lunch
Price – $50 – $100 – sliding scale.
Presenters – Clare Caldwell and Julie Rawson

We will discuss how to maximize germination and getting seeds on their way to success for the season. Starting seeds later than we are used to in the greenhouse with only natural lighting and solar heating, getting them in the ground with no “checking” of their growth, use of seed inoculants, transplant drenches, and mulch when planting will all be discussed. Our “no cell” “no soil block” open tray system of greenhouse seed starting will be discussed also. We follow the biodynamic calendar when planting and will share our thoughts on that too. May 25 is a root day.
First, we will start some lettuce seeds in the greenhouse, then repair to the field to plant some beet seeds and lettuce seedlings, apply in row drenches, and follow up with application of mulch. This will be a very hands-on workshop.

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Jennifer’s Recipe of the Week

Haddock Chowder
Clare, Marissa and I made lunch for Julie’s birthday on Monday.  I made Haddock Chowder.  Picture is of the lunch including Clare’s amazing lasagna and Marissa’s mashed potatoes.  Here is the recipe:


  • 2 pounds Haddock, cut in bite size pieces
  • 1 cup Celery, sliced
  • 1 large purple Onion, chopped
  • 4 large Red Potatoes, diced
  • 1.5 quarts of Chicken bone broth
  • 1 quart of Summer Squash puree
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3 T Ghee
  •  1 cup Cream


  1. Sauté celery, onions and spices in ghee for 4 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes, broth, and puree.   Cook until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add in Haddock and cook until fish is done.
  4. Add cream.

Serve hot!

Farm Doins

As is always the case with Mondays, we were spread all over the farm, each with our tasks at hand. Danny, Stu and Jim finished more than half of the barn woodshed roofing job.

After successfully moving the chickens up to the annex, the rest of us put back some tarps (about 10) following the previous Friday’s sever winds

And then moved on to the ever-decreasing pile of wood

But we had to take a short break to receive the VT Compost truck, and clean off a corner of the driveway end

Then Clare and her crew dragged the potting soil off the road

Over Monday and Tuesday we finished hoeing our uncovered fields (ran out of tarps) and then on Wednesday we broadcast oats and peas for a spring cover crop. We also hauled a bunch of rocks off of what used to be a stone wall between the south and pond fields, loaded a bunch of potting soil into the basement, worked more on our water and shock system, and finally mowed that old wall, followed by the daily dose of wood cutting and splitting.

Wednesday we planted aronia, moved an errant bale of hay out of the pond field, planted some lettuce, and cleaned out the chicken house – all in increasingly more unpleasant weather.

Friday we finished the chicken house and finished the wood pile, filling all of our woodsheds to overflowing. It was a great way to end the week!

Our final log


Quick Links

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Products available right now at the farm
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Links Workshops

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