There were two trees standing next to the road and a couple of people walked by together. One tree said to the other, “Do you think those people can communicate with each other?” The other said, “I don’t see how as they don’t have roots.”*
Lest I go on ad infinitum about our little chorus, I must share one final vignette for the year. We did have our concert against all odds (serious Covid outbreaks all around, some pneumonia, kidney problems, ailing parents, troubled aunts, cancer scares, a bad fall to name a few) and there were 25 people in attendance. As a friend would say, we knocked it out of the park. In my experience people do have a tremendously difficult time communicating with each other and often jump to conclusions, set up barriers for entry and find occasion to be offended by others’ actions or lack thereof. But then there is music, and joint performance. And when one has the opportunity to bring to life masterful music like the Brahms Requiem, against heavy odds for us this fall, there is a magical connection between the singers that also envelopes the audience, as if we all did have roots whose mycorrhizal fungi were connected and flowing back and forth with information and nourishment. There is so much unseen energy in the world and Friday night I got a full course meal of it, helping me open more fully to the human possibility that exists when folks enter the world of joint creative expression.
*thanks to John Kempf for this little joke
Green tea – part of my daily regimen, green tea is a life saver for me with just enough caffeine to give me a lift, and a wonderful load of anti-oxidants. I like Frontier’s Gunpowder Green tea and add that into my tea mix each morning, making a quart of tea each day to drink throughout the day.
Check out this Healthline Article on 10 reasons why – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea#10.-May-help-you-live-longer
Graeme Sait’s monthly podcast came out this week. For inspiration alone, it is always worth a listen. He also had a very thorough Part 2 of sexual health – https://anchor.fm/nutrition-farming The Power of Plant Growth Promotion Part 2
Pre-Order your 2022 CSA Share
Thanks for the continual stream of subscriptions for next year. Your commitment to our solvency as a family, and more and more a community farm, inspires us to more agricultural aspirational heights. Only 25 days left until the end of the year.
We are offering pre-orders for 2022 CSA shares now. Put down a full payment, half payment, or a $150 deposit to guarantee your spot in our 2022 CSA. We may raise prices in 2022 for our CSA shares, but we haven’t made a determination of that yet. If you order in this calendar year and put down a down payment you can be assured of this price. Order here: https://mhof.net/csa-order-form/
2021 Lard is in
We ran out of our 2020 lard supply early this year, but we are now back in business again. There is a wonderful rhythm to lard production which includes great skin care for the hands as we handle the fat back and leaf lard to skin the fat back and then cut the pieces small so that we can render them in our 4 gallon pot on the stove. The smell is fantastic, and the chickens and dogs and cats love the cracklings. Super high in vitamin D and a marvelous cooking fat that is heart healthy, lard is my favorite cooking fat. We charge $20/quart. It lasts at least 6 months in the refrigerator.
Pork Cuts and stock
We have made our first round of sales for our pork and have a few cuts left over – ground pork, pork chops, regular style ribs and roasts. These cuts are $11/lb. and are available until they run out at the farm. We are also making stock from our heads, tails, bones and trim. We boil the parts down for about a day in water with salt and vinegar (from our farm). Then we separate the meat and marrow and puree it with the water it was cooked in. We sell the stock frozen in quart plastic containers for $7. It is a marvelous and flavorful stock for soups.
Thinking about coming out to the farm to volunteer? If you like cold weather, starting with us in the winter can be fun. We are hosting working shareholders on Wednesdays and Fridays 8-12, with breakfast and lunch included. Your pay also includes a dozen eggs. Coming on an irregular basis in winter is quite fine. We are always involved in a variety of adventures, and there is a lot of soup stock, lard, soap and salve making besides our outside work. Enquire.
Farm store hours
M-F – 12-1 pm
Always call ahead to be sure of supply.
Available this week
- Free range organic eggs at $8/dozen – we newly added free choice kelp to their now full farm free range lifestyle.
- dandelion, holy basil, burdock, yarrow and yellow dock tincture in 2 ounce bottles – $12
- frozen certified organic applesauce – just the apples cooked down in water – $7/quart
- 2 ounce jars of comfrey salve – $8 each
- 2 ounce jars of hemp salve – $10 each
- garlic powder – $10/2 ounce
- frozen lard – $20/quart
- frozen pork stock – $7/quart
- frozen pork cuts – pork chops, regular ribs, ground pork and roasts – $11/lb.
We took it rather easy this week, mostly working half days as we were all getting back on line after Covid. Thanks to the many, many folks who sent best wishes. For those of you who have had it, it is no joke. We were all downing our vitamin D, C, zinc, magnesium, cod liver oil and black seed oil. Taste is returning and coughing has slowed way down.
Clare and Anthony and I finished mulching the garlic and breathed a sigh of relief and finishing that important job.
Anthony spreading hay.
We got all of our field hoses picked up and hung, put away one of our 16 bird houses for the winter along a stone wall and brought two up for minor repairs before parking them.
Parking a house for winter.
The moving process.
We cleaned up all of the dishes and feeders and buckets from the bird houses too and will pick away at the houses. John has offered to come back and work with Anthony to do house repair to ready us for a successful start of the season in April. Clare and I organized all of our fertility liquids.
Inventorying our fertility liquids.
And then had a fun task of carefully measuring all of our fields. It turns out that I have been inflating the numbers on acreage that we manage for vegetables. We are just around 2 acres going into 2022. We cut off some wetter land in the pond field and shortened the back of the north and south fields where it is too cold and shaded on the east side nearer the woods.
We started taking down the two hoop houses that we put up in 2018, realizing that 5 houses is just too much for us to manage well.
Taking down a hoop house.
Friday was pork day, picking up 12 pigs and distributing it to customers, and making our first batch of lard and boiling down our first head. I spent some enjoyable time catching up with pork customers over the weekend. Clare got all of our row cover organized and stored.
Chickens love cracklings.
The first head on the stove.
Further along in the stock process.
Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful December sky!