Many Hands Organic Farm

411 Sheldon Road
Barre, MA 01005
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411 Sheldon Road Barre Massachusetts 01005
Pay With: SNAP/EBT, HIP (Healthy Incentives Program)
Growing Practices: Certified Organic
Contact: Julie Rawson
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Many Hands Organic Farm has been in business since 1985 and certified organic since 1987, perhaps one of the longest certified organic farms in the country. We pride ourselves on no till, regenerative practices that maximize photosynthesis, keeping the soil covered, diversity of animals and plants, ultimate fertility and quality of product. We offer a 22 week summer CSA and a 4 week late fall CSA in large, medium and small sizes. Delivery is to 8 locations in Central Mass. We also sell eggs, meat chicken, soup chickens, turkeys and pigs – all free range. Finally, we have a few processed items such as lard and bitters tinctures that are certified organic and soap, and salve that aren’t.

What We Grow

Dairy + Eggs

Eggs (chicken)


Chicken, Pork, Turkey




Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Salad Greens, Swiss Chard

Family Fun

Educational workshops – 7 this year on a variety of topics – available on the website

Natural and Low-cost Homestead Design

  • Saturday, March 23, 2024
  • 9am-12noon with pot luck lunch
  • Price: $50-$100 sliding scale
  • Presenters: Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson

This class is for people who are planning to develop a homestead using natural materials and systems and want to consider the wide range of issues involved. Jack and Julie are owners and builders of the farm. Topics covered

  • Initial Land Selection
  • Site Determination
  • Residential Design – climate and weather protection, energy, water, septic, vehicle access, root cellar, attached greenhouse, storage, connectivity choices, backup systems
  • Outbuilding Siting and Design
  • Developing Natural Features – fields, gardens, ponds, woods, walking trails
  • Long-Term Planning.

A major focus of each topic will be the extent to which low cost, natural materials, incorporating energy-saving design, and appropriate technologies are employed. A tour of the house and grounds of the farm, where many such principles have been applied, will be included.

Ayurveda, Yoga, and Seasonal Cooking

  • Saturday, March 30, 2024
  • 9am-12noon with pot luck lunch
  • Price: $50 – $100 sliding scale
  • Presenter: Jennifer Peck, Ayurveda Practitioner & E-RYT50 Yoga teacher

Embark on a 3-hour holistic journey of self-discovery and well-being. Immerse yourself in a rejuvenating meditation and yoga practice introducing the basic concepts of Ayurveda. Delve into enlightening discussions exploring the fundamental lifestyle and diet principles of Ayurveda, the ancient science of life and longevity. Learn how to align your lifestyle with the seasons through Ayurvedic wisdom, understanding how to nourish yourself according to the unique needs of each season. Additionally, ignite your culinary creativity with a hands-on cooking session focused on preparing delicious and nutritious meals aligned with the current season.

Ayurveda, deeply rooted in the rhythms of nature, seamlessly aligns with the principles of farming and community-supported agriculture (CSA). This ancient system of health and wellness recognizes the interconnectedness between humans and their environment, emphasizing the importance of living in harmony with nature for optimal well-being. By embracing Ayurvedic practices, individuals not only nurture their own health but also contribute to the sustainability of the earth and support local farming communities. Through the mindful consumption of fresh, local, organic, seasonal produce, we honor the natural cycles of growth and nourish both body and soul in alignment with the wisdom of Ayurveda. Join us in this transformative experience as we cultivate balance, vitality, and inner harmony together.

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.

Keeping the soil covered: tarps, cover crops, mulch

  • Saturday, June 1, 2024
  • 9am-12noon with pot luck lunch
  • Price – $50-$100 – sliding scale
  • Presenters –Julie Rawson, Elenore Alves, Matthew Kornn

We aim for the highest possible fertility, a no till scenario, increased soil organic matter, and high nutrient density, disease and insect resistance, and as few weeds as possible. At this workshop we will discuss our 10 years of no till, a bit about our problems with this modality as they have evolved over the years, and the solutions that we have implemented. Always a work in progress, this fascinating journey is always full of new insights and observations.

Specifically, we will show how we use cover crops pre, post and during the season, tarps throughout the farming year, and myriad sources of mulch. We will demonstrate the use of our bale chopper, mulch some broccoli with chopped straw or hay and leaves, take down some cover crops and use a pre-plant soil drench for planting of tomatoes in the next 2-3 days. We will remove tarps from some of our sweet potato beds and prepare the beds for planting similar to the tomato beds. Finally, we will undersow inoculated (with biocoat gold) crimson clover in our mulched collard beds and apply a transplant drench to the beds.

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.

Food preservation

  • September 14, 2024
  • 10am – 2 pm with a pot luck lunch at noon
  • Price: $50 – $100 – sliding scale
  • Presenters: Julie Rawson, Jennifer Peck, Marissa Gabriel and, Paula Bowie

We preserve hundreds of pounds of food each year enough to fill 7 freezers, 400 mason jars, a root cellar, and cupboards with dried foods. Join us at the height of the food preservation season to preserve our way through the day. We will freeze vegetables, can tomatoes and grape juice, make applesauce, start some lacto-fermented sauerkraut, dry some herbs and garlic and discuss best methods for canning freezing drying, and root cellaring. At lunch time we will share a pot luck lunch.


Summer, Fall

CSA type by product



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