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Join in an Earth Day Spirit Celebration This Sunday April 23 at New Harmony Farm, Newbury!

All are welcome to honor and delight in Mother Earth as New Harmony Farm extends its community mission beyond growing organic food and inaugurates its new non-profit Earth Harmony Sanctuary. Join shaman Cynthia Barnard, drummer Gregorio De La Selva, Sanskrit Mantra teacher Brendon Nay and others at Earth Harmony Sanctuary’s inaugural Earth Day Celebration. This family event exemplifies our mission to build community resilience in an era of profound environmental and social change by cultivating an intimate, healing relationship between humans and Earth.
Our Earth Day Celebration will be held Sunday April 23 3pm-4:30 pm rain or shine at 186 High Road Newbury, MA. For more information contact Erin Stack at 978-807-6315 or erinstack@comcast.net

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READY TO RE-ENERGIZE? TAKE OF YOUR SHOES AND JOIN ERIN AND ACUPUNCTURIST ANNE FEDEROWICZ FOR "EARTHING" AND Qi GONG THIS SATURDAY, 9AM

Walking on the earth now has an official term because we have become so distant from it- it's called "Earthing". The soil, grass, sand or stone beneath our feet heals us. The earth is an electrical planet with all living creatures on it being electrical too. The positive shift you feel when you have walked on grass, dirt, sand or concrete is the process of your body becoming infused with the Earth's ever present healing energy. This direct contact with the Earth has now been found to reduce inflammation in the body, reduce stress and improve sleep.

This Saturday morning we will gather at the community room at 9 am in our barn at 186 High Rd. Newbury and then go out into our land to "Earth" and practice Qi Gong with Anne. As part of New Harmony's evolving educational mission to deepen our connection to Nature, this free workshop is a gift to our community.

Anne Fedowicz is a licensed acupuncturist at Rivers Of Wellness in Newburyport and has been practicing and teaching Qi Gong for 15 years.

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THE MAIN TOMATO HOUSE IS PLANTED AND WE ARE MAKING OUR FARM BIOLOGY OUR FRIENDS

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THE MAIN TOMATO HOUSE IS PLANTED AND WE ARE MAKING OUR FARM BIOLOGY OUR FRIENDS

Thanks to our farm crew Andrea, Gabe, John, and Sarah we have planted 240 heirloom tomato plants(over 30 varieties) into our new high tunnel. 
As I gather a deeper understanding of biological farming, it truly has become a spiritual practice as I see our ecological interdependence and how critical the smallest micro critter is to our ecological health. 
We have stopped using plastic row cover in our high tunnels (green houses) to make sure we can build the healthiest soil in an environment that receives no natural rain fall. 23 drips tapes where put down including drip tape in the pathways of the tomato house to make sure the soil would never dry out and stop biological activity.We are not tilling the soil because it would harm the worms, fungi and all the micro critters that are essential to healthy soil. Instead we pulled the kale and mustard plants left from winter ( we save islands of each variety to feed the pollinators and save seed) to be composted and used as mulch. The pathways between the tomatoes are heavily mulched with leaves which will increase our worms population and we will mulch the tomato beds with salt hay. All the soil is inoculated with beneficial fungi and bacteria and sprayed with sea minerals, molasses, and other organic goodies to feed both the plants and the microbes in the soil. All this to give our tomato babies a happy home!

 

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Our First Flowers

Today's sudden drop in temperature created a luminous mist as untimely arctic air danced with our warm moist soil in our winter greens house. We have let our kale and mustards go to seed to bring early season sustenance to native pollinators and to begin our seed saving program. The kales are hybrids and should revert to a range of their original parents. It will be interesting to see. Those beautiful yellow flowers are Yukina Savoy, an Asian mustard - both delightedly fragrant and delicious equally wonderful in my flower vase and salad bowl.

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Having Fun With My Bionutrient Farmer Friends

I just got back from the Bionutrient Soil and Nutrition Conference that was held at Kripalu. The conference is like old home week where I get the chance to connect to my friends in the Bionutrient Food Movement from around the country. I learned a ton of cool stuff on new strategies for building soil health, nutrition, increasing food sources my honey bees and native pollinators and so much more. One of the best parts was traveling with Phil Jones, my dear friend/ farm mentor and my new assistant farmer John Twombly. I invited John along to give him his first taste of what is involved in biological and ecological growing practices. We are all pretty excited to get this new growing season underway!


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St. Brigid and Our Prop House

SPRING IS HERE ! (at least in Ireland). Last Monday, February 1 was St. Brigid's Feast day and also Imbolc, an ancient Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.The date of Imbolc is thought to have been significant in Ireland since the Neolithic period and lies halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. One way to celebrate St. Brigid's Feast Day (Brigid is one of the three Patron Saints of Ireland), is to make a St. Brigid's Cross out of reeds. Niall (Erin’s farm partner) remembers making these fondly as a child in Ireland. Niall scouted some reeds near our wetlands to make this beautiful cross that was part of our celebration expression in our propagation house. We are putting the finishing touches on the propagation house now and in a couple of weeks we will be officially starting our new growing season by seeding our first onion and flower starts.


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CREATING OUR PERMACULTURE PICK YOUR OWN HERB AND FLOWER GARDEN

 

Next year will be our fourth year at our Newbury farm. As we spend our time learning and loving the land, we continue to develop permaculture projects that are designed to be both beautiful and functional- in harmony with our eco-system. Next year when you come to visit the farm you will see our delightful new garden that will be part of our pick-your-own herb and flower share. The garden designed by share holder and dear farm friend, Angela Palmer is really fun and will be giving our farm house folks and our chickens a lovey view.

We are integrating annuals and perennials into a raised bed system that uses a layering method of different materials to create a biologically vibrant soil community. Shown here is our permaculture champion Gabe Wallis using a broad fork to open up and aerate our compacted soil as the first step in building our soil beds.

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David Yarrow, Master Dowser returns Sunday, October 11 to Teach: GIFTS OF THE MOTHER PART 2

Ancient indigenous understanding knows the Earth is the physical manifestation of the divine feminine: The Mother.  By awakening our inner 6th sense, we can sense, see and feel this living landscape anatomy, and begin to live with full sentience and intelligence on the Earth again.

Morning:  

Subtle Energy Body of the Earth: learning about the spiritual anatomy of the land

A training session for newcomers and beginners to learn how to become aware and study of the magnetic matrix of the land.   Participants will learn to detect, trace & map underground water flows, subtle energy vortexes & ley lines, and how to use this 6th sense information to discover sacred space.Working together in teams, we will trace the water flows, ley lines and vortexes on, under and over New Harmony Farm to create a map of the earth energy anatomy of the land, and to identify special features and sacred spaces.

Afternoon:

Connect to The Mother: engage with the Earth as living intelligence

Becoming aware of the land’s magnetic matrix, by conscious intention, we can interact intelligently with the Earth and its living inhabitants. Simple intentions and tools can rearrange, realign and intensify these earth energy fields and can open our awareness to the dynamic intelligence of the land, and allow us to cultivate a fully sentient, fully conscious relationship with earthspirit.  We will share and explore our collective knowledge and insight about ways initiate this intimate personal engagement with the land including the opportunity to participate in Sacred Circle Dance led by Ellen Kennedy of the 4 Seasons Dance Community.

Among other forms of earth energy are dragon paths and earth vortexes, and New Harmony Farm has both.  After learning about dragons, The Mother and the Underworld in mythology, culture & legend, we will learn about the dragon within, and the ancient discipline to awaken the dragon.

Saturday, October 11, 2015 9am to 4pm

New Harmony Farm, 186 High Road Newbury, MA

Suggested Donation

Full day $25 half day $15 lunch pot luck or $7 pitch in for carry out

Preregistration is preferred (pay on day of the workshop) as space is limited. This workshop is open to the public so please share this info if you know of someone who would enjoy it. The workshop will be held in the barn, field and forrest of our Newbury farm at 186 High Rd. (Route 1A)

To register contact Erin at erin@newharmonyfarm.com or call 978-807-6315

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Join Us For Our First Harvest Celebration Barn Dance  and Pot Luck Saturday October 10

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Join Us For Our First Harvest Celebration Barn Dance and Pot Luck Saturday October 10

 

Save Saturday, October 10th on your calendars as we will be having New Harmony’s very first Fall Harvest Celebration and Barn Dance from 4-8 pm. We are gathering friends from far and near for our fete.  We are very excited to have our dear friend Ellen Kennedy and the Four Season Dancers leading those who want to kick up their heels in sacred circle dancing from a variety of folk traditions. Our  potluck will be a family friendly affair and we will have a grill for grilling food and a fire for roasting marshmallows and maybe telling some spooky tales. So bring your favorite dish or beverage of choice as we celebrate our growing season and our growing community.  
Your friends and kin are also most welcome and you may contact Erin for more information and to RSVP (not required but is appreciated).

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Join Us Saturday, July 25th For A Rare Opportunity to Learn to Listen to The Earth

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Join Us Saturday, July 25th For A Rare Opportunity to Learn to Listen to The Earth

We are excited and honored to host   master dowser and environmental champion David Yarrow this Saturday July 25, for a 1- day intensive training on developing 6th sense, sacred space and water wisdom.  David will be visiting for the next few days  connecting with the Nature energies on our farm and has generously offered to teach this workshop as part of our mission to open people to a  more direct connection to our Natural World. This is a rare opportunity to walk the land with a master dowser and learn the basics of dowsing. You may come for the full day or half day session. All proceeds go directly to David. Lunch is a pot luck in our barn or you may pitch in $7 for some pizza.  Please contact me via email erin@newharmonyfarm.com to let me know if you would like to attend. 

Preregistration is preferred (pay on day of the workshop) as space is limited. This workshop is open to the public so please share this info if you know of someone who would enjoy it.

 

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A Call To Support A Truly Resilient Community

We are excited to announce that New Harmony Farm is partnering with The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center and the Newburyport YWCA to offer New Harmony Summer CSA half shares to families who could not otherwise afford our certified organic produce. Please considering donating towards our goal of 12 summer half shares to be split between families served by these two excellent community resources. The executive officers of our partner organization have join in this appeal. Please read the quotes below: 

What a moving gesture by New Harmony Farm! The last thing that victims of
domestic violence need to worry about is how they will put food on the
table. This donation will feed many over the course of the summer.

— Suzanne Dubus CEO, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center
For many working families, the food budget becomes the easiest to lower when expenses become tight. Housing, home heating, child care and transportation are often fixed for a family, so when times get tough they reduce the quality and quantity of food they purchase. Fresh produce and organic vegetables are often beyond the financial reach of the working families we serve. Fresh and organic produce has many health benefits that lower income families are unable to benefit from because of their cost. This partnership with New Harmony Farms allows these families access to high quality, organic produce that will help improve the health of our families through better nutrition
— John Feehan, YWCA Executive Director

 

To be part of creating our resilient community you may donate through our website by going to our CSA Shares page and scroll down to the donation button near the bottom of the page. All money given through the donation option is tax deductible and donors may receive upon request a receipt for the tax deduction from one of our partner organizations.

 

 

 

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2 Day Bio-Nutrient Crop Production Workshop with Dan Kittredge - A Huge Success!

On Saturday April 11, New Harmony inaugurated her new classroom/community center in our barn with a 2-day workshop with my dear mentor and friend, Dan Kittredge on High Bionutrient Crop Production. The workshop teaches the same innovative and reliable principles and practices for producing more nutritious food crops that we use on our farm. The learning focus of the workshop includes soil biology, mineralogy and energy dynamics. We had over 20 participants from all over the country including, Ohio, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. The workshop included a brief tour of our farm where Dan showed some of the  principles of Bionutrient Crop Production. It was a great weekend-  new connections and friendships were made. It was an auspicious beginning for our new education program. Stay tuned for some exciting workshops coming later in the summer.

 

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HURRAY! THE CALVARY IS HERE! NEW HARMONY WELCOMES OUR MAIN STAFF FOR THE SEASON!

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On April 1, our farm's two new managers, Mark Congdon and Julie Baca started their first official day at the farm. I say officially, as they have been generously helping me though March to begin planning and planting seedlings for the season so that we get a good start on what will be an awesome growing season. I am so excited to work with both of them. They both bring many gifts to the farm and they will work with me to take New Harmony to the next level of evolution.

Mark and Julie worked together for 2 years as interns at Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, MA. Caretaker was one of the first CSA's in the country and has over 270 members in a CSA that offers a "free choice" distribution. Thanks to Mark and Julie's expertise, we will now be able to offer volume based, free choice ( with some items limited to insure enough for everyone) at our Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday CSA distributions at our new classroom/community center in our barn at Newbury.

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Giving Some Sweet Support To Our Honey Bees After A Wicked Winter

Pouring sugar on the inner tray of the hive so bee can access it.

Traces of our bees cleansing flights

Traces of our bees cleansing flights

If you think it was a tough winter for you, think of our precious pollinators! Estimates by local bee experts put our Coastal New England Honey Bee mortality for this winter at 60%. I saw some enthusiastic  bees two weeks ago out for their late winter cleansing flight. Bees have cleansing flights because they will not dedicate in their hive so they "hold it" until a warm winter day where they can fly outside with out freezing to death. Judging from the activity,  I know we have at least one hopefully two active hives out of our 3 in Newbury(will finally be able to access and check on the West Newbury hive this week). The real challenge for the bees is the early spring when their stored honey is used and the pollen has not yet arrived. The first pollen of the season comes mostly from  trees. Unfortunately, the below normal temperatures that are still persisting is delaying the first pollen of the season putting both the honey bees and even more significantly all our native pollinators at risk for starvation just as spring arrives. At least for our honey bees, I will be adding sugar to the top of their hive for sustenance until the pollen comes.  Our honey bees and native pollinators are more examples of species that are at risk due to the weather extremes of climate change. 

Sending loving kindness  and asking permission from the bees to enter the hive

Sending loving kindness  and asking permission from the bees to enter the hive

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Demo Day Down At The Barn

One of the primary goals for 2015 is to expand our educational and community mission by building a classroom and community event space in part of our old horse barn. To this end, Gus Harrington our first and foremost farm angel and Niall and I went about tearing down four of our horse stalls to create the space that will become our community center and classroom. Stay tuned to learn how you can help us to create a wonderful place where we will be able to have lectures, workshops, fun family events (including family movie nights in the summer).

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New Harmony Nutrition Discussion Group Meeting March 17th, 7PM

As part of our educational mission, the New Harmony Nutrition Group is open to anyone who wants to get a clearer understanding of how we are truly "what we eat" and desires to deepen their understanding of nutrition and prepare healthier meals. While the group often uses a book as the foundation of the evening's discussion, reading the book is not necessary to join the discussion group. 

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Our March group will delve into the key concepts of T. Colin Campbell's book Whole: Rethinking the Science of NutritionHere is a description to whet your appetite:


"What happens when you eat an apple? The answer is vastly more complex than you imagine.Every apple contains thousands of antioxidants whose names, beyond a few like vitamin C, are unfamiliar to us, and each of these powerful chemicals has the potential to play an important role in supporting our health. They impact thousands upon thousands of metabolic reactions inside the human body. But calculating the specific influence of each of these chemicals isn't nearly sufficient to explain the effect of the apple as a whole. Because almost every chemical can affect every other chemical, there is an almost infinite number of possible biological consequences."


"And that's just from an apple. Nutritional science, long stuck in a reductionist mindset, is at the cusp of a revolution. The traditional "gold standard" of nutrition research has been to study one chemical at a time in an attempt to determine its particular impact on the human body. These sorts of studies are helpful to food companies trying to prove there is a chemical in milk or pre-packaged dinners that is "good" for us, but they provide little insight into the complexity of what actually happens in our bodies or how those chemicals contribute to our health."


"In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven't changed."


Our meeting will be held at Farrah Willis-Goode's home at 2 Independent St. Newburyport on Tuesday, March 17 at 7PM. Farrah will be leading the discussion.


You can contact Erin or our host Farrah for more information or to RSVP.

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New for 2015 Our Pick-Your-Own Herb and Flower Share at Our Newbury Farm

After running a small pilot flower garden last year, we are excited to be expanding our pick-your-own herb and flower share this year at our Newbury farm.

For  12 weeks PYO herb and flower shareholders will be able to walk  down to our herb garden and flower field each week to pick a bundle of fresh herbs  and a lovely seasonal bouquet of our perennial and annual flowers. Our flower garden includes a bounty of classics such as snapdragons, sunflowers, cosmos, asters, and zinneas plus  visually enticing varieties of ornamental grasses and hard to find flowers such as Bells of Ireland, Larkspur, Sweet Cicely and Green Gold Bupleurum! This year we are adding  the herbs  parsley, dill, cilantro, basil and mint periodically to our CSA distribution. By joining our Pick-Your-Own Herb and Flower Garden  share you will be able to pick a weekly bundle of those herbs when you need them plus ones that are rarely seen at the farm stand including, summer savory, Greek oregano, sage, English thyme, lemon thyme, rose geranium,  edible flowers, garlic chives, chervil, sage, French Tarragon, zatar, lemon balm, sweet marjoram, spearmint, rosemary and bay laurel. The Newbury PYO garden is open during farm stand hours.

The Pick-Your-Own Garden is open 7 days a week during farm stand hours for 12 weeks July-October and costs $120 for the season. We will also be offering picked flower and herb bouquets for sale at our farm stand. Go to our CSA Shares page to sign up.

 

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As the 2014 Ends a Time of Gratitude and Reflection

Our first full year growing at our new farm in Newbury was a resounding success. That success was due to a great community effort of dedicated family, staff, volunteers, and collaborators that are committed  to building a  compassionate and sustainable future. I want to especially thank the two men who worked closely with me to develop the farm and where responsible for most of the day to day labor of growing and harvesting our delicious crops- Michael Everett and JD Hutchison-Maxwel. Both men will be moving on to their next adventures but they will always be close to my heart and are an integral part of the evolving story of New Harmony Farm. JD took time before his move back to Puerto Rico to send me his reflections on being at New Harmony. I want to share his elegant and inspiring insights with you.

2014 Early Spring Seeding (L-R ): Michael Everett Our Amazing Produciton Manager, Alex Notis, Spring Intern, and John David (JD) Hutchison- Maxwell Permaculture Maven and Erin's Right Hand M

2014 Early Spring Seeding (L-R ): Michael Everett Our Amazing Produciton Manager, Alex Notis, Spring Intern, and John David (JD) Hutchison- Maxwell Permaculture Maven and Erin's Right Hand M

"It has given me the greatest pleasure to work at New Harmony Farm for the past two seasons. The opportunity to serve a cause greater than oneself, one based on mutual respect and love for all life, is the highest honor. I have learned much from this job, way more than I could have ever imagined, about farming and a whole lot more. I have given so much to this place, and I have received even more in return. I have seen firsthand the difficulties of establishing a small farm business, of instilling some order into the chaos. I have felt the responsibility of a new business owner when you know that something must get done and that there is no one else to do it. Like working into the dark to protect the peppers and eggplants before an early cold snap, and then rising before dawn to start the next day's harvest.


 This is work that requires care, humility, and compassion for all life. In the process, we honor our fundamental interconnectedness with all life. Seen and unseen, and felt, this connection is real. The tides that bind must be stronger than what our differences allow. We must practice patience and humility. We must learn to cultivate relationships as we cultivate crops; selflessly, seeing the whole in each seemingly separate part. The seeds we sow are scattered far and wide, and we know not what we do. But whatever we do, let's do it with love, and we will reap such bounty as cannot be measured in bushels or bunches.


 Helping to establish an organic farm with a sweeping holistic vision and a mission of health, wellness, and connection has been my highest honor and my greatest personal challenge. I have been prodded and pushed and stretched in so many ways, pushed to limits physical and mental and emotional. Stressed and exhausted and wounded, I have spilled tears, and blood, and felt the profound depths of despair and the soaring heights of ecstasy and everything in between. This pioneering phase, when the rubber of idealism hits the road of reality, is not for everyone. But most of all, I have felt fulfilled in my work. The sweet satisfaction of honest hard work, of giving it your all and reaping the rewards financial, nutritional, relational, emotional, spiritual; this is the new harmony I found." - John David Hutchison-Maxwell

 

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