Weekly newsletters

How you imagine the world determines how you live in it

Yes, we are running the CSA on Monday, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 10. And, no newsletter next week. Jack and I are heading to visit son Paul and family in MD.

“How you imagine the world determines how you live in it.” — David Suzuki

Agriculturally speaking, I think this is a really important thought to consider. My friend Ruben was over this weekend doing infiltration testing for a compaction grant that our farm is a part of, and we got on the subject of jumping worms. They are all the rage, it seems, as in, “oh no, another invasive that we have to get rid of.” Actually, they are mostly referred to as invasive jumping worms, or invasive Asian jumping worms. They wriggle when you uncover them, as opposed to the older “invasive” European worms that have been here since the Europeans brought them over. As I understand it, those European earthworms are considered beneficial, as normal as apple pie and baseball. “But these jumping worms eat up all the organic matter,” protest their detractors. My thought on that one is, “well, let’s add more organic matter for them to break down, because the worm castings that they leave actually feed the soil quite nicely (as is the case with European earthworm castings also).

The fact is that they are here. And I suspect that they are filling an ecological niche. We could go around and try to destroy them, or we could imagine that they are part of our agricultural evolution at this time in history and are here to teach us how to be better, more carbon-sequestering farmers. What I have observed on our farm is that in the places where we see these athletic worms when we pull the mulch aside, we also see some of our healthiest plants.

Ruben put it so nicely when he suggested that we not fear nature and natural processes, but learn what nature has to teach us about how to build a fantastically fertile soil. I walked away from our conversation so enlivened about the possibilities. I guess that my imagination on this topic is right where I would like it to be. Now all I have to work on is imagining the best regarding all of the human beings that I interact with each day!

Of Birthdays and Desserts

As I watched these two videos of, first Doodle’s birthday, and then Leslie’s (with the sound off), I was struck at the facials they made. Isn’t it wonderful when folks can focus in and make over us, if just for the span of a couple of minutes?

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So, first a chocolate cake, and then a chocolate pie, and then we went on to two blueberry pies before the week was out. It was a great week!

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Farm Videos

Using sweet potato vines as winter soil cover

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Harvesting hemp for our salve – you can buy it for $10/jar

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Making apple cider

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Book Review

Solito: A Memoir, by Javier Zamora, is, in my opinion, a must read. Javier the 9-year-old narrates his 7-week experience of attempting to get from El Salvador to California in 1999. He actually wrote the book in 2021-22 at age 32. We have a 9-year-old grandson, so it really came home to me as I look at Doodle and imagine him making such a trek without any family members. Javier does a remarkable job of giving us a bird’s eye view of this life-changing event while never losing the perspective of the young child. If you ever think about the topic of migration of people from Central America and Mexico to the US (“la usa”, according to the boy Javier), this will give you a very intimate view of the danger, the discomfort and physical strain, the fear, and the brilliant moments of connection between the travelers. This excellent book is life-enhancing for the reader. I recommend it highly.

CSA Updates This Week

CSA Crops This Week

We have three more weeks left for the CSA with our last week being October 24, 26 and 28.

  • Parsley
  • Chard
  • Tulsi
  • Carrots for larges and radishes for mediums and smalls
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Brussels sprouts – not happy with this crop this year – let’s see what we get
  • Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Carnival or delicata winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes – please be advised that your sweet potatoes, and to some extent beets, might have some mouse damage. We have some very healthy mice and voles in our fields. Just cut off the bite marks if they concern you, or just scrub them clean before preparing. Fall is mouse time!
  • Arugula

The first hard frost came almost like clockwork on the morning of October 9, right when it almost always shows up. The only thing that we will have to take off the list this week is tulsi. Otherwise, all the galinsoga and pigweed bit the dust, which is a blessing.

Fall CSA Share

We still have room!

We can take up to 100 fall shares, so there is still room. We will be picking on Mondays for Gardner, Athol, Princeton, Holden and Barre. Wednesday pick up for Barre, Sutton, Worcester and Shrewsbury. Our start is on October 31. For the last week, all pick-ups will be on Monday, November 21.

You can join here – https://mhof.net/csa-share-options/.

MHOF Meat

Meat birds available for sale

The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some – https://mhof.net/organic-meat/.

Now is a good time to order your Thanksgiving turkey

They are going fast! The birds are out there growing like weeds on our luscious pasture, certified organic feed and a regular treat of comfrey. Our turkeys are renowned as the tastiest and juiciest birds that will ever grace your Thanksgiving table. Birds are slaughtered the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 21) and are available for pick up on Tuesday the 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd.

 

Photo credit: Alexandre Chiacchio

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Working Shareholders Always Welcome

Yes, you can still add yourself to the MHOF workforce. Come any M, W or F from 8-12 and stay for lunch. We always have a great time.

Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

It was an exciting weekend last weekend as the folks came to dig a long trench to the house from our new generator location at the bottom of the driveway, and install it. Not yet hooked up, but we hope to be ready for the next power outage.

I was struck by how beautiful our flower boxes were on October 1. This picture is now my screen saver on my computer to help me remember the brilliance of healthy flowers when we are deep into winter.

Monday, we had a visit from Renee, a friend from UMass and she helped us finish the sweet potato harvest. Monday also was a special day because we met a new Stetson student, Asher, and Kamarin was back for the first time since he left us in August. These folks and Gary helped Jonathan organize our lumber shelves that are attached to the barn.

We picked away at our hoop house planting, finishing up the planting of the orange house to lettuce, and we did the big turn over of the yellow house from melons to lettuce beds, but ran out of time to plant. Meanwhile we are on a forced feeding diet of melons, eating them in the field off the back of the truck, and stuffing our faces at breakfast, lunch and supper also.

Thursday was consumed with the final product of 88 quarts of apple juice. Canning wasn’t completed until Friday morning!

Photo credit: Alexandre Chiacchio

Photo credit: Alexandre Chiacchio

And we sandwiched in 3 crates of chard for freezing

Friday afternoon Pete and I chilled out and picked the hemp, and got more chilled out as we worked…It is in the dryer this weekend and is still chilling us out.

Jonathan and John picked away at the garage, finishing the south side and moving on to the front. And Jack and Jonathan put together a plan for all of our outside buildings and how to most efficiently organize them. Speaking of cleaning up and organizing, this work thrills me to no end. Perhaps it is the ¼ German blood that I have flowing in my veins.

We only had enough flowers for Monday and Wednesday shares, but don’t they look pretty!

Keep your eyes wide open this week, and drink in the beautiful leaves of our blessed New England landscape.

Photo credit: Alexandre Chiacchio

Julie

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Cleaning

Cleaning

I am not sure if this is just a “girl” thing, but I get the extreme urge to clean up the house, the barns, the farm, etc. in the fall. But then, precisely because I am a woman who came of age when the 1960’s – 70’s version of women’s liberation was peaking (I see that time period as another manifestation of one of many previous iterations of women’s quest for equality), I focused on ubiquitous “he” language, being someone’s Mrs. So and so, and thinking about having a profession alongside being a wife and mother.

The clincher for Jack’s and my relationship, the one which has been fraught with challenge from the start, however, was around washing dishes, cleaning house, and general day to day keeping things in order and tidied up. When I was growing up, that was all the purview of the wife and mother, period. I think because I grew up with that consciousness and then became part of a movement as a young woman that encouraged more sharing of these daily tasks, I have always had a schizophrenic relationship with house cleaning. Two years ago, when I retired from NOFA, I had an inspiration to really clean up the house, organize, throw stuff out, and better organize our living space as we have moved from parents of 4 children to living here by ourselves. But here I am two years hence and haven’t made much progress in the feng shui of our daily living space.

The whole situation here is more complex because our house is also an extension of our farm with hundreds of people passing through it in any one year. I am finally ready to make it happen this year, however, and to move forward with Jack in our relationship on how to organize and clean our space in a way that works for both of us. I look forward to integrating my upbringing with my adult politics over these next fall and winter months. I look forward to cleaning out this physic closet – it is well overdue.

Health Stuff

7 Day Autumn Whole Foods Cleanse

Are you experiencing any of the following?

– Excess weight around your belly
– Sugar or salt cravings on a regular basis
– Skin blemishes and breakouts
– Can’t think straight or feel like you have brain fog
– Getting a late afternoon energy slump
– Waking up still feeling tired

If so, it might be time for a gentle whole foods detox!

I’m excited to be bringing my many years of experience supporting 1,000’s of clients through food-based Cleanses, to this Autumn’s experience! You are guaranteed to walk away lighter in mind, body and spirit.

The 7-Day Autumn Cleanse is perfect for you if:

+ You’ve never detoxed before
+ You’re really busy and don’t have time for a longer detox program
+ You want a gentle but effective detox
+ You’re looking for a whole foods detox program
+ You want to clean out your system before the holidays hit
+ You’re ready to hit the re-set button on your eating habits
+ You’re an experienced Cleanser looking for a reset and to go deep (there are extra materials I’ve created to take this Cleanse deeper if you wish)

Join me to see how 7 days of clean eating can make all the difference! Early Bird Discount is good thru today (October 3rd)! https://ellenkittredge.com/7-day-cleanse.php

Ellen

Ari Whitten Interviews Donna Gates This Week

One of the earliest leaders in the fermented food world. This in an excellent listen.

My Personal Health Journey

“Those that are flexible are disciples of life. ” — Lao Tzu

I have been thinking about taking up qi gong for at least two decades, but never gotten started on it. With so much available on the internet, it is easy to sample any number of exercise and self-healing modalities. I ran into Master Lee Holden and his 7 minutes per day qi gong exercises. You can look him up here – https://www.holdenqigong.com/. I am sure that many of our subscribers have been practicing qi gong and can probably share numerous practitioners. Practicing for just one week, I have been humbled by all the places in my body that hurt! I look forward to enjoying the benefits of qi gong as I stick with this for the longer term.

CSA Updates This Week

CSA Crops This Week

We have four more weeks left for the CSA with our last week being October 24, 26 and 28.

  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Lettuce and peppers for larges
  • Hakurei turnips for some
  • Radishes
  • Dill

Dill

  • Parsley

Parsley

  • Garlic
  • Tulsi

Tulsi

  • Carnival or delicata winter squash

Carnival squash

  • Sweet potatoes – please be advised that your sweet potatoes, and to some extent beets, might have some mouse damage. We have some very healthy mice and voles in our fields. Just cut off the bite marks if they concern you, or just scrub them clean before preparing. Fall is mouse time!
  • Arugula
  • We might send some flowers home with you this week

We dodged frost this past week and are looking at some touchy lows again this week. Hopefully we can keep lots of crops coming without too much damage. Regardless, grow back is slower now, so quantities are thinning out in the fields.

Fall CSA Share

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We have counted up our fall shares and we are at 58. We can take up to 100 fall shares, so there is still room. We will be picking on Mondays and Wednesdays and will determine delivery days of the week as we get closer to our start on October 31. You can join here.

Reserve a Fall Share

Meat birds available for sale

The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some.

Buy MHOF Meat

Now is a good time to order your Thanksgiving turkey

We only have 45 left available for pre-order. The kids are out there growing like weeds on our luscious pasture, certified organic feed and a regular treat of comfrey. Our turkeys are renowned as the tastiest and juiciest birds that will ever grace your Thanksgiving table. Birds are slaughtered the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 21) and are available for pick up on Tuesday the 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd.

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Working Shareholders Always Welcome

Yes, you can still add yourself to the MHOF workforce. Come any M, W or F from 8-12 and stay for lunch. We always have a great time.

Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

We started the farm week early last week. On Sunday Dan and the boys and I moved the pigs to a new pasture area with their favorite woods as part of it. Then we picked up 5 truck loads of wood chips from our neighbor Matt. The chips are highly valued here as mulch.

“Oh, do you have something for us?”

Dan and Raffi unloading chips

Skippy’s favorite job is to bark at the pigs as we move them in their house to their next location

This week felt like such a good one for fall accomplishments. We collected and sent off our soil tests, dried two large batches of tulsi and made two more ½ gallons of tincture (I was a bit embarrassed to dump three large empty vodka bottles into the recycling bin at the dump!).

We finished up our winter squash harvest (937!),

Hucking squash out of the tractor bucket into the second floor of the barn

prepared for and received a new freezer for the 2nd floor of the barn (two of our freezers bit the dust this past year), Jonathan tractor flattened the field areas that the pigs tore up and planted it to rye and then went on to mow and rake our hay in the pond field, which we collected on Friday afternoon. We will use the hay for garlic mulch and also chicken bedding all winter.

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Four nice loads of hay

Cathleen came over and helped us make our first batch of cider for the year.

Clare shaking the apple tree

We started sweet potato harvest – 5 rows of our 18 down. It is a good harvest, although the mice have been enjoying them also.

Thursday, we prepped half of the orange house and the blue house and got the blue house planted with Asian greens for the fall share.

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Blue house all planted

Friday night some locals dug into one of our chicken houses and one of our turkey houses and killed a chicken and maimed a turkey. Looks like Skippy and Dingo will have to do some night patrolling again. Lots of hungry wild animals out there right now.

We found Sadie’s kittens in the attic of the toolshed

Laurie ecstatic in the cilantro patch

Jonathan, Stu and John almost finished the south side of the garage this week. And as I write this, we are getting the trench dug and filled with the conduit for a generator that Jack has shepherded the installation of over the past several months.

Julie

Quick Links

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Products available right now at the farm
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The Community Meal

As it turns out, I spend more than 10 hours per day either growing food and caring for its stewardship, preparing it to eat or put by, cleaning up after its preparation and serving, or thinking and studying and discussing with others how to do all of this better. And I am not even Italian! Our running tally for meals served here this year is presently at 3,473. You can place your bets here for the total as of December 31 and the winner will receive your favorite bar of soap or bottle of tincture as a prize, and a free coupon for one of our farm lunches redeemable in 2023. Place your bets by October 31.

Silliness aside, I got invited to a zoom the other day that was to take place at noon on a week day. Sacrilege, I thought. When Jack and I got together, one of my bottom lines was that we eat our meals together. And that has become a strong tradition here. Why is this so important to me? Maybe it is the midwestern farm upbringing, maybe it is what I have read about the power of eating and communing that has been so historically significant for so many centuries. Or maybe it is just what I have come to learn in my own experience that when people eat together, they become closer, they share what becomes a sacred gift, and they all walk away with a satisfaction that pervades the spirit. We have had many great meals this past week, but I think most fondly on Scott’s birthday party on Thursday. After a very productive morning of food preservation and avoidance of outside work in the pouring rain, we celebrated his 64th with a roast chicken and potatoes, two kinds of melon, the last of the corn, a monster zucchini, full salad, and Clare’s birthday chocolate pudding. We have miracles happening around us all the time. Here is my challenge to you to make the miracle of a shared meal your reality three times per day.

Scott’s birthday party complete with roast chicken, potatoes, salad, sweet corn, summer squash and Clare’s chocolate pudding

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Personal Wellness

Tulsi, Tulsi, Tulsi

Everybody is talking about it, and we are consuming it in tea and making tincture. We have the most beautiful patch of it this year, and thus, the CSA members are getting it each week. Check out this great article from Beth Callahan. Thanks, Beth!

7 Ways To Use Tulsi Everyday – Herbal Academy

I saw this article and thought of you.
https://theherbalacademy.com/use-tulsi-everyday/

Hi Julie,

I wanted to share that fresh tulsi tea is my new found love too with many thanks to you.  I recently went back to school for my Ayurveda Herbalist Certification.  So I’m all about herbs.  I thought I would share with you some other wonderful properties that tulsi is recognized for beyond its calming effect on the nervous system.  It is great for clearing mucus from the lungs or respiratory tract and used to treat fevers and flu.  Additionally, it is useful in asthma, bronchitis, and rhinitis.  It can increase lung capacity and reduce labored breathing.  It could be helpful with COVID (there’s no research on this, but something to think about).  But there’s more!!  It is a heating herb that is dry and light.  It is good for the digestive system.  It helps to move things through the intestines and calms a fermented digestive tract. It increases the appetite and is a warming stimulant for digestion.  It can aid in weight loss, reduce blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.  It has an affinity for the heart, increasing circulation and blood flow.  For people with a hot constitution (pitta), it could aggravate in excess. For people with a dry constitution (vata), I might suggest a pinch of licorice root to balance out the drying quality.  Of course everything in moderation is key.

Thank you as always for the amazing bounty.

Love,

Jennifer

Wow this is great, Jennifer. Thanks for rounding out more information on tulsi. I have been adding it to tea for about a month now, with green tea, chaga and wood betany, and enjoying a quart of it throughout the day. 

Love, Julie

Videos from MHOF this week

Tincture Production

Clare produced two tincture videos this week

Making tulsi tincture

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Bottling yellow dock, dandelion and Japanese knotweed root tinctures

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CSA Updates This Week

CSA Crops This Week

  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers for some
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Tulsi
  • Tomatoes – though our plants are still very healthy, healthier than they have ever been this long into the season, the temperature has dropped and the light just isn’t there. So, we have some, and you might get ones that aren’t quite ripe. Just let them sit on your counter, not in your fridge, and they will ripen up
  • Squash – Clare and I were able to harvest 256 of them on Friday before we ran out of time. There are hundreds more. Look for a delicata or a carnival (looks like an acorn squash) in your bag. There might be a handful of summer squashes too, but they are almost gone
  • Arugula
  • Celery again – as it has gotten so large, we might cut some in half so they fit in the bags
  • Sage
  • You pick flowers in the back of the south field for local shareholders. Enquire at pick up!

More MHOF News

Yes, we have kittens!

Eloise has done it again. And even though I told her she had to raise them outside this time, she pressed, and we relented. Arguably the cutest kittens we have ever raised, these good-looking cats will be available for sale on Friday, October 7 – 4-6 pm and Saturday, October 8 – 1-4 pm. $50, first come, first served. Contact me to put in your reservation. Email me at julie@mhof.net. Do not reach out on Facebook as I will not respond there.

Unfortunate news regarding our pigs’ eating history

This past Wednesday our organic certification inspector came for his yearly inspection. When we were walking past the pigs, he noted that our supplier of certified organic pigs had recently dropped certification (unbeknownst to us). What this means is that we can not claim them to be certified organic, as she fed the piglets non-GMO, but not certified organic, feed. We, of course, are feeding them certified organic grains from Green Mountain Feeds, moving their pasture each week, and giving them tons of our food processing waste by the time they go to slaughter. So, I feel there is not a better pork product around. You can pre-order pork on the website.

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Videos From the Outside World

Optimizing your gut health with Kiran Krishnan

This guy is really sharp. One of my favorites. Listen carefully to this completely information packed podcast. Enjoy!

Other News

Soil and Nutrition Conference

Son Dan is the ED of the Bionutrient Food Association and their annual conference, back in person after two years, will be held on the weekend of December 3 and 4 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. It is always an opportunity to stretch your mind and meet interesting folks.

https://bionutrient.org/snc

Ellen’s Latest Offering

Wisdom of the Body, Wisdom of Nature Begins October 9th!

All details here: http://www.lecoeurasheville.com/new-events

In this Course we learn to align ourselves with energies from nature that are part of our birthright and that can offer remarkable transformation in all areas of life. Scholarships are available for those in need, so please just ask. https://youtu.be/cfpWME-Qlcc

“The connections developed during this course have brought forth a different sense of capacity – a fullness and deeper sense of wholeness. A love like no other. I couldn’t wait to be together with everyone each week.” – Stephanie Clement

Fall CSA Share

Sign Up Now!

We are setting aside some of our storage crops like potatoes, onions, garlic, and taking good care of our late greens and roots, all with the hope to have a bounteous fall share. It is always a bit of a Russian roulette game with the weather, but we are planning ahead for a healthy selection for you.

Reserve a fall share

Meat birds available for sale

The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some.

Watch this promo movie we put together this week!

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Buy MHOF Meat

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

This past week Melissa joined us. Melissa is a music friend and I am so happy she has decided to work with us. The work is always more bounteous than we have hands for. Join us.

Melissa

Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

Each week now is a hustle to get as much of the crops harvested that are one and done (soybeans, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.) and then stored for the CSA and/or processed for the farm food system for the next 12 months. This week we finally finished the potato harvest. We have been enjoying the mouse eaten potatoes almost every day, while the others are safely in the root cellar for distribution.

We harvested all the corn (I always felt that I was going into a war zone when I picked it this fall) and froze it for later consumption. Next year we hope to be back handing out this wonderful corn to the CSA. On the home front we froze the left-over soybeans, particularly for our Thanksgiving feast. We also cleaned up the most recent cabbage bed after harvest and froze the split heads.

Thursday’s complete wash out allowed us to make 75 quarts of applesauce, shell our saved pea seed, bring our tinctures up to date, cut and sort our onions, and do some remodeling in the barn. Jonathan and John got some garage time in and we ended the day on Friday meeting with our consultants from Advancing EcoAgriculture. Time to start planning for next year!

Our poor crops looked a little worse for wear on Friday after Thursday’s long and intense rains and then cold and stiff winds the next day. They have all represented so well for us this year.

Clare and Pete working on soybeans, chard and cabbage preservation

While Jonathan processed our dried Chicken of the woods

Jack had to take a picture of me with one of our monster watermelons

As it turns out, we do our best gossiping while in the bean patch. We are at close quarters for an extended period of time. Now that the beans are done for the year, we are going to have to find another gossip station.

Shelling our pea seed that will be our pea crop for next year

At our height, there were four of us processing applesauce on Thursday

Stu supervising while Clare, Scott, Alex and Paula assiduously cut onions

Looks like we might squeak through without a frost again this week – fingers crossed. On the docket – soil tests, more cover-cropping, planting some lettuce and greens in the hoop houses, squash harvest, sweet potato harvest.

Julie

Quick Links

Buy CSA
Buy meat
CSA pick up information
Contact Julie
Products available right now at the farm
Become a working shareholder

Sacred Reciprocity

What an incredible week it has been. Each day has featured time with some wonderful folks on the farm. Here is just a small slice.

Earlier in the summer, we got a call from Ryan looking for some certified organic piglets. As it turns out, they are in very short supply, because most folks don’t want to pay twice for grain which is certified. We get ours from Jan Johnson at Mill River Farm in Great Barrington, and she happened to have 4 extras that she wanted to sell. So, we hooked Ryan up and then picked up the pigs for him as Jonathan was making the trip out there anyway. Easy enough for us to do. Recently Ryan called up and wanted to repay in some fashion, and we negotiated a deal where his partner Dan would come and volunteer this past Wednesday and Ryan would come by and help me with chores on Sunday. Dan is now going to be a working shareholder, and Ryan helped me harvest 7 ½ gallons of chicken of the woods mushrooms after chores. Clare stated it well recently that each day features another person or set of people that come to the farm to be part of our agricultural family, and each day we look forward to their special gifts that they bring. With the weather almost perfect right now, who could ask for a better deal.

Jill has moved from Sundays to Wednesdays and Dan in the foreground picks beans

Ryan with Chicken of the Woods in hand

Videos from MHOF this week

We were hard at it in the food preservation department. My poor body forgot that sometimes hauling 5-gallon pots on and off the stove is harder than hoeing!

Preserving Corn
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Cover cropping for fall
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Making pear sauce
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Anyone in need of a rototiller? Pigs on new pasture
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CSA Updates This Week

CSA crops this week

  • Beet thinnings – our last crop of beets needs to be thinned, so this might be mostly greens
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers for some – beautiful plants this year and very little fruit for some reason
  • Green beans – they have to be coming down a bit – we harvested 45 gallons of beans last week
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Tulsi
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash – this week we will have some winter squashes for sure, the summers just don’t quite want to quit yet in their marathon season of 2022
  • Oregano – we ran out of time and space for this last week and will endeavor to get it into your bags this week
  • Apples – though we had perhaps 10 weeks of apples last year, this has been a low tree fruit year. We will give out apples this week, but it will probably be our only week in 2022
  • You pick flowers in the back of the south field for local shareholders. Enquire at pick up!

Videos From the Outside World

Interesting podcast on brain entrainment

Other News

Soil and Nutrition Conference

Son Dan is the ED of the Bionutrient Food Association and their annual conference, back in person after two years, will be held on the weekend of December 3 and 4 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. It is always an opportunity to stretch your mind and meet interesting folks.

https://bionutrient.org/snc

Ellen’s Latest Offering

Wisdom of the Body, Wisdom of Nature Begins October 9th!

All details here: http://www.lecoeurasheville.com/new-events

In this Course we learn to align ourselves with energies from nature that are part of our birthright and that can offer remarkable transformation in all areas of life. Scholarships are available for those in need, so please just ask. https://youtu.be/cfpWME-Qlcc

“The connections developed during this course have brought forth a different sense of capacity – a fullness and deeper sense of wholeness. A love like no other. I couldn’t wait to be together with everyone each week.” – Stephanie Clement

Emails From Subscribers

Hi Julie, Just watched your video. Have a few questions. Our turkeys free range in our blueberries but still eat a ton of feed. How much of your T’s diet is feed compared to grass, comfrey.

Looks like we are going to have to process our birds this year. Do you do your own processing, if so What temp do you shoot for in your scalding water

Thanks as always, Hi to Jack

Stan

Hi Stan, 

Good to hear from you. I don’t know exactly how much of the turkeys’ diet comes from non-commercial feed sources. But I read in a book a long time ago that turkeys can get up to 50% of their diet from forage (chickens only 25% supposedly). I think that has to do with them being able to make more use of grasses. I think the best way for you to maximize the amount of forage that they utilize is to move them each day onto a new pasture area. It also promotes the best health outcomes. If you don’t have a comfrey plantation yet, you should plant one, because it is very nutritious and high in protein and minerals. 

We don’t kill our own birds, so I don’t remember that temperature of the water needed, but that info is widely available on the internet. You want the feathers to come off easily, but don’t want the skin to scald. People want their turkeys to look perfect for Thanksgiving, so a good looking carcass is a high priority. 

Best, Julie

I think I always used the test of just too hot to hold my hands in continually. If I could stand it, it was too cool. Hope that helps! — Jack

Thank you for the regular inclusion of Holy Basil. What a wonderful plant! We brought some tulsi tea over for lunch at a gathering and everybody loved it. It tastes great, but also offers amazing medicinal qualities too! It’s so flavorful, we got 2 and ½ boils out of the tea. And most people like the flavor so much, they don’t need a sweetener. No wonder it’s so common and revered in India!

Richard J. Longland

Thanks, Rich, so glad you are enjoying it. I have gotten into that habit too now, and love it. Julie

Book Review from Jack

by Jack Kittredge

Julie and I are reading an excellent short book I wanted to tell you about. It is “Transcend Fear” by Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

Ladapo is a Harvard educated medical doctor and scientist with a PhD in health policy. As a youth in Nigeria he had several traumatic experiences (he briefly explains these in his book) that caused him to experience a period of great fear as an adult. While now resolved, this made him very sensitive to the fear-based policies adopted by public health officials when Covid-19 hit in 2020.

He was a tenured professor and clinician at UCLA at the time and felt that the US response to the pandemic was seriously flawed: masking didn’t stop transmission, social distancing was not sustainable, lockdowns were more destructive than helpful, medications with demonstrated benefits were forbidden, vaccinations were improperly forced on everyone rather than reserved for those most in need, and public debate was prohibited with many brave doctors and scientists attacked and even fired for speaking out.

This was all done in a climate of fear and censorship that destroyed the very thing most important for effective public health policy – social cohesion and trust.

Ladapo responded at the time with a number of op-eds printed in USA Today, the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal.  I had not been aware of these, but many are reprinted in the book and strike me as unusually insightful and predictive.  His language is always careful and restrained, his sources cited and his facts well documented, but his indictment is compelling. He believes far more people died because of these mistaken public health policies than would have died otherwise.

Ladapo himself, protected by tenure, did not lose his job for his criticisms — despite their prominence in the press (although there were efforts to dislodge even him.) In an inspired move a year ago Gov. Ron DiSantis appointed Ledapo to the post of Surgeon General of Florida, one of only a few states with such a position. Since then he has been using that office to craft a more open and effective public health program in the state. It will be fascinating to see what a man of his vision can develop compared to the disaster this country has experienced over the past two and a half years.

Fall CSA Share

Sign Up Now!

We will be picking for the fall share, starting October 31 and running for 4 weeks, on Mondays and Wednesdays. But on the last week we are picking all of the shares on Monday. Keep the good food flowing for one more month.

Reserve a Fall Share

Meat birds available for sale

The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some.

MHOF Meat

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

This week Dan joined our Wednesday crew, as did Jill, who used to be a Sunday chore person. Whew, it has been hard to get the shares picked on Wednesdays, and it was a breeze this past week. Sadly, Maria has to quit her Friday spot because her work calls. We will miss her!

Maria says this was the juiciest watermelon she ever tasted!

Jill with the medium chards on Wednesday

Dan washing our bean harvest

Alexandria taking a turn on the rope swing while Shantel looks on

Volunteer at MHOF

Farm Doin’s

It was perfect weather all week and we enjoyed it immensely. The CSA shares are now fitting better in the bags. Picking is still a big job, but we do get done by noon each day now. No sign of frost yet, but we may have to keep our eyes out for next weekend in that department.

Though we have some weeding and mulching to complete yet, we seemed to only get food preservation done in our spare time this week. The pigs enjoyed their weekly move, Stu, Clare, Alex, Pete and I almost completed the potato harvest and Jonathan, John and Stu got closer to finishing the garage siding. Also, Jonathan did some mowing around the farm, which helped with its rather shaggy nature.

Clare has been a star in helping me get the food preservation done, and also Paula all day with us on Tuesday. We finished the grape juice, got 54 quarts of apple and pear sauce put aside, another 5 bags of green beans, 23 bags of corn and 5 bags of broccoli (be sure to come on over for dinner in the next 12 months – we will have plenty to eat). I have been passing off tomatoes on anyone who will take them. If you are a shareholder who picks up here you might find some on the table to take home and use for preserving or just eating in profusion. Though the corn for the most part is laying flat or barely has its heads up, we are able to glean and freeze, and for that we are grateful.

This upcoming week after finishing potatoes and corn, we need to harvest all of the sweet potatoes and winter squash.

Getting close on the garage

Such beautiful tomatoes this year

Clare whipped through 3 crates of corn on Thursday afternoon

Maria’s health drink of celery juice with tulsi tea

Julie

Quick Links

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Contact Julie
Products available right now at the farm
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Zip Up

As life has settled down a bit on the farm, I have gotten back into some healthy routines that I have no problem following in the winter, but which fall to the wayside in the busy summer months. Concurrent to dropping these practices my old challenges of weak knees and sore hips and fatigue soon reappear and remind me I need to take care of and find time for myself on a daily basis. For so many of us with ultra-busy lives, this can be a challenge to accomplish.

Presently I do three things for my physical health each morning. I am working with the Breathing for Energy program by Ari Whitten, which sadly is not cheap. But what he teaches is about intermittent hypoxia, breath holding for longer and longer periods of time each day to build lung capacity, increase nitric oxide production and improve health in wide-ranging ways. You can do it yourself with Patrick McKeown’s book, The Oxygen Advantage. Here is a great podcast with Whitten and McKeown – https://theenergyblueprint.com/the-right-way-to-breathe/.

Next, I am back doing Donna Eden’s Daily Energy Routine:

At 79, she is still doing this work of helping people connect with their bodies to create their own healing. I have great admiration and respect for her work. The zip up is one of the exercises in this short video that traces the central meridian and gives one the opportunity to seal in good intentions for the day. You can accomplish this daily routine in 5 minutes or less.

Finally, I am back with Lucy Wyndham and her 7-minute exercise videos that are strenuous and work on all or various muscles in the body to strengthen one’s entire system. Right now, I am working with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgvRu4mJOfw to speed up metabolism, but there are a number of very helpful videos that she offers.

I can easily accomplish all of this work in less than a half hour and then move on to my day. I am left each morning with a sunny disposition, lots of energy and raring to go. Good stuff that keeps me balanced and more effective during my sometimes very long days.

Videos from MHOF this week

Visiting with the turkeys
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We did get through all those pails of grapes and put away a fair amount of grape juice – close to 60 jars.

There are still more grapes out there, but the rush is over.
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Alex took a video of Leslie, Clare and me stuffing bags with produce on Wednesday.

We were so tired by 2 pm when we finally finished the CSA that day. Bags were super full!
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CSA Updates This Week

CSA crops this week

  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Green beans
  • Some broccoli here and there
  • Arugula for larges
  • Soybeans (Edamame) – take these off the stalk, place them in boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes until you can pop them out of the shells. You can eat them just like that, or shell them all, and warm them up and of course add butter
  • Parsley
  • Tulsi
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash – maybe summer, maybe winter – the summer squash plants are finally giving up the ghost
  • Oregano

Crop Report

We hit the apex of the CSA last week for sure. The celery was a bit over the top, as so many of our vegetables have been this year. The chard is extremely hard to get in the bags too, as it has been so tall. This most recent iteration of beets is also of very high quality, which is exciting for us. The corn, sadly, is not going to be coming in quantities adequate to share with the CSA after its challenges with the hail storm. Crops are for sure slowing down. No more over-abundance of summer squash, and the tomatoes are ripening much more slowly now.

No lettuce this week, but it will be back next week. We put in a lot of fall crops which are germinating nicely. Once we get all of the potatoes dug, we will be sharing those again. And sweet potatoes will need to be dug in the next week or so. If the mice haven’t had at them, they should be a good crop, but you never know until you start digging. Green beans are strong for at least one more, if not two more weeks. This is the last week of soybeans.

Recipe Ideas

Roasted Ranch Edamame (Soybeans)

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Ingredients:

  • 3 bunches fresh edamame (soybeans)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp dried onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs powdered milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove pods from stem, then remove soybeans from pods.
  3. Toss shelled edamame with olive oil. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown but not burned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. While soybeans are baking, combine the remaining ingredients to make the ranch seasoning. Use a spice grinder to grind any spices that aren’t yet powdered.
  6. Sprinkle ranch seasoning on cooled, roasted edamame. Toss to coat.
  7. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.

Download recipe

News From the Outside World

Thanks to Jill Woodworth for this great article on comfrey. Comfrey is one of my most favorite plants, but I didn’t know about putting the root into my salves – an upgrade for 2022 for sure! https://greenmedinfo.com/blog/comfrey-miracle-plant-teachings

Emails From Subscribers

Hi Julie,

Happy anniversary to you and Jack. I love this story. I notice these little things all the time with Owen,  we do and think so differently. For a long time I thought we wouldn’t last together because of it. The old adage that opposites attract is true. And Ayurveda teaches us that opposites balance.  That’s one of the main concepts in Ayurveda. We see this in nature and we are nature. Congratulations to both of you for your patience,  kindness and love for each other. You are both such an inspiration.   Owen and I may not make 4 decades because we’re too old but we are life long partners.

With love, light and happiness,

Jennifer

Nice, Jennifer, 

Thank you for your profound sentiments, and I am glad that you too have made it over the hump of wondering what planet the other person came from, coming out the other side realizing that diversity once again, is key to strong systems, and ultimately happy people. Love, Julie

Congratulations Julie and Jack! I forgot we were married in the same  year—Dave & I just celebrated 44 in May—very true what you said about opposites attracting…!

Karen

Thanks, Karen, and you are not the first one this morning to make that opposites connection this morning. There must be something in it! Julie

Dear Julie and Jack,

I would say that you and Jack have a case of serious love. That comes from years of being together. There is no cure for it. You just live with it.

I congratulate you both with living successfully with your case.

Love, Ella

Oh, thank you, Aunt Ella, it is pretty fun to get better and better at loving another person as the years go by. Thanks for your support all these years, love, Julie


Julie,

I loved this reflection on your 44 years together.

And the photos of you side by side at work at that famous table in your kitchen. And side by sides of how you cut tomatoes.

What if there were a list of all the events that happened at that table and all the people who sat there with you from family, friends, NOFA people, etc. There’s a lot of good feeling and poignancy that happened at this table.

And then to pivot to the arrival of the pigs!?!

Oh gosh, Lew, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I guess it is true that much has happened at that table and also the old formica one that preceded it and the smaller wooden one that started out in that location (having found it at 96 Stockton St, as I remember it). Holding good memories within us while learning to fully live in the present is such a gift that we human beings can receive and enjoy. Love, Julie

Hi Julie,

I look forward to your newsletter each week and your sharings about physical, mental and emotional health.

Belated Happy Anniversary. It’s nice to see that you embrace the differences between you and Jack. I’m a firm believer that we seek balance in our mates. Sometimes it takes patience to be OK with that balance but I appreciate it most of the time.

I’m so sorry to have disturbed your nap on Friday. If you prefer that I not bring the vegetable scraps I’ll understand.

Since my husband doesn’t care for chard or beet greens I’ve been preserving and freezing them to go in soups and stews this winter. He’s perfectly OK with them in that form and I like that we’re still getting some great greens in the winter.

Wishing you a great week.

By the way, you may not have changed the entire world but you’ve certainly made huge and positive differences in the immediate world around you.

Take care

Beth

Thank you for your kind words, Beth. Just today I was wondering when Jack would get rid of his raggedy old shirts and wear the newer ones I get for him from time to time, frustrated as all get out. But he held firm to his mother’s dictum that we should “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Yes, I find the differences can be maddening, or offer us an opportunity to live and let live. In my more evolved moments I always choose this option! 

You can keep bringing your scraps. I am not usually taking a nap on the couch, though that was nice on Friday!  Pretty soon, when the layers are back in their winter home at the edge of the driveway you can deliver them right there. 

Good luck sneaking good veggies into your husband in the winter. Many a woman has done this for her family for many a century! Julie

Good morning and congratulations Julie and Jack on your anniversary! I hope you both are doing well. I have to say that I really miss the days I spent with you and for that I am very grateful. Thank you for sending all the wonderful letters, they bring me back to Sheldon road immediately when reading them. Tara and I are living in Boston, Jamaica Plain to be more precise, and we are both engaged in our work. She is at Boston Medical doing her residency and I am working at La Colaborativa in Chelsea directing a food assistance program that helps immigrant families get food. It is difficult to see how in urban settings having access to nutritious food is a luxury. I think constantly about how much abundance the land at MHOF had compared to the urban spaces in Boston. Love you Julie and I hope to see you soon.

Juan Camilo

Hey Juan, 

So good to hear from you. You were such a bright light when you volunteered here last year. I am glad you are doing the Lord’s work in Chelsea. Here is my challenge to you – get a farm started there, so folks in Chelsea can have a hand in raising their own food! You have a lot of capacity, and I am happy to consult. Come on out when you can. Love, Julie

Homemade tick repellent recipe for dogs

in this article – from Leslie Stambler

Fall CSA Share

Sign Up Now!

We will be picking for the fall share, starting October 31 and running for 4 weeks, on Mondays and Wednesdays. But on the last week we are picking all of the shares on Monday. Keep the good food flowing for one more month.

Reserve a Fall Share

Meat birds available for sale

The chickens are now in the freezer, so call or email to come buy some.

MHOF Meat

Working Shareholders Always Welcome

Especially now! Jonathan was sick for 3 of the 4 days last week and we were hurting for help. Thanks to Danny, Paula, Leslie, Alex, John and Maria for helping us pull it off. Alex is our newest working shareholder. See elsewhere in the newsletter for his ad for photography. He is good! You can work with us up through November 19 on the CSA, and then come on for the winter if you really like the outdoors!

Volunteer at MHOF

Weekend help needed until the end of the year

On Saturdays we need some help on the following days – October 1, October 8, November 19.

Jack and Jill have had to end their time with me on Sundays and we have the following Sundays as of yet not covered – October 2, October 9, October 16, October 30, November 6, November 20.

Weekend chore people help move the chickens and turkeys and feed the pigs. I serve breakfast at 8 am and we are done by 10 am. In exchange, you receive a dozen eggs and 4 or 5 different kinds of vegetables from that week’s CSA. Give me a call or email if you are interested in helping – 978-257-1192; julie@mhof.net.

iPhone photos by @alexandre_chiacchio

Above are some photos by Alex

 

I’m looking for a free lancer works in my area of expertise while I improve my English:

Portrait Photography; Family Photography; Boudoir Photography; Pre Wedding Photography; Lifestyle Photography; Real Estate Photography; Food Photography; Industrial Photography

This is my website, where you can check out the high quality of my portfolio: https://alexandrechiacchio.com

Alexandre Chiacchio

Professional Photographer and Videographer in Worcester, MA

I’m Brazilian and I have over 15 years of experience in high quality commercial images production. I will be staying in Massachusetts until July 2023 to accompany my wife on her chemical engineering PhD project at WPI in Worcester, MA.

I’m looking for a free lancer works in my area of expertise while I improve my English:

Portrait Photography; Family Photography; Boudoir Photography; Pre Wedding Photography; Lifestyle Photography; Real Estate Photography; Food Photography; Industrial Photography

This is my website, where you can check out the high quality of my portfolio: https://alexandrechiacchio.com

Ellen’s Latest Offering

Wisdom of the Body, Wisdom of Nature Begins October 9th!

All Details Here: http://www.lecoeurasheville.com/new-events

In this Course we learn to align ourselves with energies from nature that are part of our birthright and that can offer remarkable transformation in all areas of life. Scholarships are available for those in need, so please just ask. https://youtu.be/cfpWME-Qlcc

“The connections developed during this course have brought forth a different sense of capacity – a fullness and deeper sense of wholeness. A love like no other. I couldn’t wait to be together with everyone each week.” – Stephanie Clement

Farm Doin’s

It was a rough week. We did appreciate the rain on Tuesday, though it did rain all day and turned out to be about 4 inches, all of which easily absorbed into the soil. We hustled through the rain all day that day, and then on Wednesday because Jonathan was sick and Laurie was on vacation we had a stalwart four of Leslie, Alex, Clare and me and only finished the largest CSA day at 2 pm. Thanks to Jack for making the Worcester delivery.

Thursday Stu, Clare and I moved the layers from the west field to the pond field (which took three hours of back breaking work), but hopefully they are set up for easy moves until they go back into the chicken house in late October.Then we moved the pigs to spot number two and they immediately happily began field deconstruction.

Dan and the boys helped me pick more grapes and get pear drops on the “second shift.”

Friday Clare, John, Pete, Maria and I hustled through the CSA and were done by 1! Little “progress” work was accomplished this week – picking, chores and an overdue move of the layers. But that is often the scenario on a Labor Day week. Hopefully we will get the potatoes all out of the ground, and some weeds pulled and mulch put down this upcoming week.

Sometimes I forget to mention my weekend help. Shantel, who is now 29 weeks pregnant, helps me move the birds and do pig chores most Saturdays. She is amazing. And this Sunday Dan and the boys helped with morning chores. Doodle is elated that he has seemingly trained the pigs to play “follow the leader” with him as leader as they run around their field.

Raffi and Doodle enjoying the view of the pigs from atop their house.

Sorry that photos get more scarce when help is short.

Julie

Quick Links

Buy CSA
Buy meat
CSA pick up information
Contact Julie
Products available right now at the farm
Become a working shareholder