Mother’s Day

It became clear to me, perhaps when I would dress up our cats in outfits and spend hours with our border collie growing up, that I liked being a mother. When this day comes around each year, I take stock of my mothering, mother-in-lawing, and grandmothering, mothering of various of the folks who show up here with regularity on the farm, and of course the constant of cats and dogs that have always been in my life.

Every talent or propensity can be practiced and honed, especially if it comes easily, and get richer with each new and sometimes challenging experience, but once a mother always a mother, so it seems. Although our kids are now all in their mid-40’s, I can still see them as very small people and be brought back in an instant when I am in their company.

Today (Sunday) has been a most wonderful day – breakfast with Chuk, 2nd breakfast with Dan, and then a surprise visit by Joss, Sebbi and Rose, and lunch with Chuk (he’s the guy who has been on the barn roof all week), followed by a zoom from Ellen in England. Paul called me at 4 and we did chores and some chard weeding together while getting into our “meaning of life” talks. Great frosting on the Mothers Day cake.

I hope that all of you women have had a chance to use your mothering skills throughout your lives, regardless of whether you have any children of your own. The world is in great need of exceptional mothers. I close with this note that Ann sent me today.

A Mother Is
The salt of the earth
The first teacher at birth
That stone that will melt
In a class by herself
That tear that never shows
That love that overflows
The base where we all run
The warmth of the sun
The tried and true
That special you.

Chuk reroofing the barn

Expressing Gratitude this Week

My special gratitude goes to the month of May and all the beauty she brings our way. Our grass is emerald green with beautiful yellow dandelions and purple violets, all of the fruit trees are in bloom, the baby chicks are in the brooder, the kittens are in the bedroom, the willows are weeping over the pond, the seeds are popping up and the seedlings growing strong .The light is so strong and long in the sky.  And even in the too hot (Tuesday) and the pouring rain and cold (Wednesday), life is magical each moment.

Produce for sale this week from the hoop house

  • Lettuce – $3/head
  • Chard – $3/bunch
  • Chives – $3/bunch

Contact Julie at 978-257-1192 or to place an order and set a time to pick it up.

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 May 12 we have raised $47,469.43, or $59.2% of our $80,191 goal, up by 12.03% from 2 weeks ago.

Order your Summer CSA share here

Come to our zoom on Sunday, May 19 at 5:30 pm where we will talk about all the details of how the CSA runs, what you will get. This zoom will be good for new members and those still on the fence.
📅 Join us on May 19, 2024
🕠 Time: 5:30 PM
📍 Location: Zoom
💻 Link:
👥 Featuring: Julie Rawson & Jack Kittredge

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Kittens are in season again. We have three available for pick up on Memorial Day weekend. These kids cost $50 each. Enquire to order your kitten and put down a deposit.

Spotty face is a boy, and the black and black and white are both girls, we think.

Circle of Song Concert Coming up May 18

The concert will take place at the Barre Town Hall, corner of Exchange and Mechanic Streets, 7:00 pm. Full of a mix of music from all genres, this concert will be an enjoyable expression of springtime. And great refreshments at the end. The concert is free and we don’t mind donations either.

Many Hands Make a Farm

You can buy our book here.

Educational Resources this week

No time to listen much this week

Volunteering at MHOF

Anna, my organic certification mentee, Sam, back from Colorado, and Kylian, doing community service (son of a previous MHOF staff member) all added to our numbers this week. Carlos, a volunteer from last year, is back too. Join us and earn a large produce share.

Sam is back for a short bit

Kylian banding chard


Carlos mowing

Don’t forget the Party on June 29

Jack already turned 80, and Clare will be leaving the state (after 16 years on the farm!) right after the party. Let’s honor both of these amazing people at our annual summer potluck, June 29 at the farm – 2 pm until  . . .

This week Clare mentioned that they aren’t leaving immediately at the end of June, but that she would finally get a chance to come and volunteer until they take off nearer the end of summer.

Community Fridges “only $266 left”

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 $4,613.46. We are almost there.
We have an anonymous donor who will match our donations $1 for $1 up to $4,880. We cut our remaining needed balance in half this week to $266.54!

Many thanks to Mary this week

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

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.

The workshop series has been a bit of a flop this year. So if we don’t receive any subscriptions by the end of this week, we will cancel this workshop.

Register for Workshops

Jennifer’s Recipe of the Week

Garlic & Sundried Tomato Socca Bread
Socca bread, an Indian flatbread, serves as a fantastic companion to any dish or enjoyed on its own. I often transform it into a gluten-free pizza. Packed with protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium, thanks to chickpeas, it offers a nutritious boost. Chickpeas are known for their drying properties, making them ideal for consumption during spring or rainy seasons to help balance moisture levels in the body.

View Recipe

Farm Doins

As you might remember, I spent the first week of May in England with daughter Ellen and her husband Dan. It was a very fun time, with no responsibilities and just a lot of following them around in their lives. The stellar folks at home proceeded through many things like planting potatoes (they are up!), cabbage, Brussels sprouts, building a wash table, and doing a fair bit of mulching.

This past week we were able to get the kohlrabi in, the second planting of lettuce, all of the leek seedlings, first plantings of carrots and beets, and one of the four beds of onions. We got the two sprayers back in service, did a lot of foliar feeding of trees and plants, and set up our mushroom operation for the spring.

Paula is back, after being gone since January for her father, and life is good again.

We did a first mowing of the entire farm and more work on the water and shock system.


Quick Links

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