Earth Day

I was around for the first Earth Day. Our entire school walked around the back roads of Milledgeville, IL and picked up cans and bottles. And I spent that whole day with my history teacher, Tom Wiltshire, who was quite a renegade in that small midwestern town. In his class we debated such topics as the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam in a time and place where our part of the world was still very pro-Vietnam War. I remember that entire day with Mr. Wiltshire discussing current events, American history and the responsibility of each of us common citizens to take part in making this world a better place. And we picked up a lot of cans. Now 54 years later, I feel grateful to have the kind of mentors I had in my formative years such that I have spent the rest of my life prioritizing environmental activism and trust in nature. And now I pick up trash and beer cans on Sheldon Road whenever I go for a walk! I hope this Earth Day has special meaning for you as we all celebrate the beautiful and diverse paradise that we live in and dedicate to steward.

Expressing Gratitude this Week

It goes to Mom. She started down the path of organic agriculture right around this time (Earth Day 1970)– in a time and place that was totally immersed in chemical agriculture. When I think of all the shaming and negativity that she received from our small community for standing out for environmentalism – she was also an anti-nuclear activist- I recommit to taking the difficult and often unpopular stands that I must take each day to be true to what my destiny is in this world. Thanks, mom; I know you are there keeping an eye on me and providing me guidance!


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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 20, we have raised $34,499. Our Goal is $80,191. That’s 43.02% – up 7.45% from last week

Order your Summer CSA share here

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Many Hands Make a Farm

You can buy our book here.

Educational Resources this week

Regenerative Agriculture Podcast Barons
There is a book out right now that is all the rage titled Barons, and Jack might review it at a later date. Here you can get a sense of it with John Kempf’s incisive interview with the author of “Barons” this week –

Volunteering at MHOF

This past week we received help from Samantha, a UMass Sustainable Ag student, who with her son Nolan helped us mainly with some of our early fruit tree and small fruit sprays. And the students from Clark returned on Friday, and with those 11 souls we made great progress on farm chores. We are always taking volunteers and working shareholders. Every day but Thursday. Enquire.

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 $3,813.46. We made huge strides toward our goal this week. Thank you to Leslie and Ken, Teresa, and Martha and Jim.

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 $1,066.54. With just a handful more of donations, we will have this campaign wrapped up.

Can you help bring some fresh vegetables of the highest quality into someone’s life? Your donations are appreciated

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 listed two of our next 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.

Homestead Carpentry
Saturday, June 15, 2024
9am-12 with pot luck lunch
Price: $50-$100 – sliding scale
Presenter: John Wilson, with some help from Jack Kittredge and Danny LeBlanc

There’s a time in every homesteader’s life when some carpentry is needed to build or repair something made of wood.  This workshop will provide a solid grounding in getting started. Very basic questions will be explored in a setting that requires no knowledge of woodworking.
Topics will include: how to select the right lumber for your task, how to measure it and cut it to size, the options for fastening it together, and making a good assembly.  Each topic will cover the tools needed, with a demonstration of technique, and how to avoid some common pitfalls.  Emphasis will be on hand tools where feasible.
While in his 20s, John Wilson was a carpenter for 10 years.  He worked on framing apartments, finish work in condos, a cabinet shop, and built two houses.  He’s kept active in carpentry remodeling work in the intervening years, and was part of the MHOF garage and chicken coop renovations the past two years.  He has always had an appreciation for tools and techniques.

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Jennifer’s Recipe of the Week

Spiced Tofu & Vegetables
There’s much debate around whether tofu is good or bad for you. In Ayurveda, all whole foods are good and bad. What might be good for you, is not necessarily what is good for someone else. With that said, tofu has many health benefits. It is especially helpful during menopause to alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes and dryness. It is also helpful during menstruation, as it is an estrogenic food. It moistens and cools the skin and joints making is helpful in eczema.

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Farm Doins

This Week Mat Higgins worked for MHOF on his school vacation week from Stetson. What a wonderful addition to our staff. He stuck like glue to Matt on the days that Matt was here, and they made huge progress on our shock and water system, completed three of our above ground hydrants and digging (with the help of the Clark students) a trench from the road to the pond to lay some shock for two more outlets so that we don’t have to drag shock wire all over the pond field when we are managing the pigs. Mat was good at everything else he put his hand to also. We look forward to him returning during his vacation weeks at Stetson this summer.

The digging crew coming back from the pond field

Mat drenching pea pathways prior to planting

The carpenters finished the barn woodshed roof and Danny put together a “new” table for the shed from a tabletop that Matt brought in for us to use with an old table frame. These two guys (Matt and Danny) are always upgrading our infrastructure around here.

Danny with our “new” table

Between the rest of us, and with Clark help on Friday, we were able to prepare and plant 3 beds of spinach, 4 trellises of peas, 6 short beds of chard, 2 very long beds of lettuce, mulch pathways of these crops and cover with row cover the seedling crops. Becca, Marissa and Luke are picking up the seed starting protocols to move into the big vacuum Clare will leave at the end of June.

Becca drenching seed flats

We started broccoli, celery and celeriac this week. We are on track on the farm at this moment where everything needs to be done at once. We finished the week with all three hoophouses weeded and mulched also.

I spent the day Thursday with my certification mentee, Anna and helped at her new farm in Haverhill. And had a great conversation with the head farmer at World Farmers in Lancaster where we discussed how MHOF can assist the immigrant farmers that farm there and in Petersham.

Anna with her beautiful seedlings


Jack and I discuss the political, environmental and health ramifications of eating Ritz crackers vs. homemade flax/chia crackers

Quick Links

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