Friday, June 15, 2018

Updates and News

Hi Friends,
Getting a late notice out to stay in touch. Very busy on the farm right now. Weather has been very cool at night with some days sunny and other with rain. Planning around the weather for us is huge right now. Grass and weeds seem to like this kind of weather. Constantly mowing. Crops are coming along nicely. Some like this weather and others grow a little slower. Bill the cat is trying to help type this newsletter, folks with cats will understand. So, choice starts this Thursday, June 14th, 6pm. Set your clocks. Lot's of greens to start off with, and hopefully some early season surprises. Fruiting crops are a few weeks behind, so peas and summer squash will probably be on week two, maybe a small sampling for week one. Lot's to come your way. And, get those pickling jars ready, as the cucumber plants look really nice, should expect a nice harvest. Fennel and beans will be a few weeks out, but really excited about our plantings there. Had to replace probably 1000 tomato plantings as our early young plants were taken out by a worm or mouse under the plastic cover.....very frustrating. Life on the farm, Sun Golds look great in the high tunnel.. YEA!!!! Farmer Don's favorite!
So, time to get some rest. Baby pullets coming to the farm tomorrow, long trip to Lancaster County for pick up. But, many eggs to come later in the season.
A couple shout outs: Thanks to Stacy, Annie, Ken and Jason for their help keeping the farm running this spring. Their help has been huge this spring. Blyss up at Cornell, Jane in for the summer and Lyds out in Montana were also very helpful as well. Can't say enough about the community that surrounds us and helps us to share the harvest. This is all about community. I'll repeat that, We are all about COMMUNITY. YOU SUPPORT US, and we are ready to return that support with a share of the harvest!
Next, and a huge part of our love, life and farm, Joan has felt the support and well wishes from all of you and is on a really nice upswing, breathing a lot easier and generally feeling soooooo much better. Still on the mend, but her recovery from this winter has the farm feeling the good vibes! Now we keep health and nurturing going and hoping all will be well as we move forward.
Finally, Chef Toby and Sarah over at the Blind Pig in Bloomsburg want me to put a reminder out there. The Dancing Hen Farm dinner at Blind Pig will be Sunday, June 24th. A chance to enjoy our harvest cooked by Toby and served in the ambiance of the Blind Pig Kitchen.
Be well, friends! The harvest is coming soon!
Thanks again for your support!

Monday, June 4, 2018

2018 CSA Update

2018 CSA update June 4th
Hi Friends, Good morning from a damp and chilly Dancing Hen Farm! Despite the weather and the difficult spring growing conditions, we have decided to start up deliveries. We will delay our start by two weeks though. So, first delivery will be Tuesday, June 19th. Our website will open for choice on Thursday June 14th, 6pm. Set your clocks for reminder mode. The season will run for 20 weeks. With June 19th being the 1st week, deliveries will run to Oct. 30th, the 20th week of our season. Week one will also be a chicken share delivery. Chicken shares will be delivered in marked coolers with labels on the chicken shares themselves. We will be sending out more emails with more detail and making phone calls to ensure week one goes as smooth as possible. To our friends picking up at our Dallas location, we will be relocating the drop site very shortly, as we wish our long time farm friend and site host, Judy, a happy retirement. All Dallas pick up members will be contacted directly.
On the home front, Joan continues to feel better each and every day. Rehab is really helping to bulk her up and she has started a therapy series as well. Still tied to the house with the O2 line, but even that is getting somewhat better. Our thanks goes out for all the prayers and well wishes. Those really go a long way to encourage during the tough times!
So, morning chores are calling. Time to move along. Again, big news is 1st delivery, June 19th, with first order day June 14th. Still time to get those last minute friends to join the CSA and share the harvest with us.
Be well, friends,
Farmer Don

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A bit of sun and the buying club is open

Hi friends!
Time to open the buying club!! Farmer Joan says open it up, so, here we go! Nice to see the sun after some really depressing weather, bits and pieces of warm weather to be followed by cold and nasties.

 Oh Well. We move forward!

Special thanks to Stacy, Ken and Annie for their help today as we went hard at planting. With the weather being how it's been, really tough to get the season started. But we move forward. So far, garlic, scallions, peas, carrots. beets, spinach, lettuce, and Asian greens are in the soil. Of course with lots of compost and kelp meal!

Word around the house is rest and rehab. Rest rest and rest! Stuck in traffic doing the Phila. Dr. run, gotta expect that. Trying our best to stay away from the "Big Yellow" bed and breakfast in Danville. So far so good!

Again, your support is huge.

New to the buying club are a few early herbs and a small harvest of salad greens. Get it while it's there, great tasting stuff as we have been taste testing here at the farm.

Time to rest up for Tuesday, for more planting, as Wednesday and on looks like just a box of rain. But a box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you you thru. Be well friends, your support is huge.
CSA is moving forward, peeps arrived this week for chicken shares, our farm is strong with community support!

Keep the love and support coming, we feel it over here!
Farmer Don

Snowy March News

Hi Friends,
A quick note. No more snow please, 5 1/2 inches Monday morning. Thankfully almost all melted by night time. Now today a cold rain. Pooooop. Oh, the sun will shine in our back door someday.
Buying club is open this week for weekend deliveries, Farmer Phil and Aunt Joan said open it up. So, here we go. Lot's of eggs, pork and chicken as well some storage veggies left for sale. Close to getting leafy veggies out into the field. They'll need sun to grow, so let's push for that.
Farm work is mostly seeding. Our college friend Annie was up over the weekend and a big help with seeding and finishing the peas. Stacy's first day of the season is today in the seed house seeding many tomato trays. And Ken is out also helping on the seeding and some other farm projects as well. Nice to have the extra hands!
The brains of the operation, Joan, is feeling better and working from her home office on a limited basis. Helps her to keep her mind busy. So, so nice to be home. Some rehab this week, excited and nervous all at the same time. Trying to take things slow and build our health back up.
Thanks to everyone for the support. Tell your friends 2018 CSA is still open but filling fast.
Be well!
Farmer Don

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Happy Easter!!!

Hi Friends!

Happy Easter! Hoping this email finds everyone healthy and happy.

Finally, the folks who run the big, yellow bed and breakfast on the hill in Danville decided to let Joan come back to the farm. Yahoooooo! Feeling much better. Working on breathing and even that is coming around. Still a ways to go until we get back to where we were, but a real blessing to be home. Thank you to all for the support!

So, farm news includes hawks, foxes, tractor work, seeding peas and planting scallions. I can always tell when spring is close as the chickens get harranged by hawks (lost 2) and foxes (lost one). This has become a spring ritual as wildlife is hungry and our chickens make a nice easy meal. And, now that Mother Nature has let up a bit, tractor work can happen! Cool! Needed a new battery though to get going. I guess 10yrs of original battery isn't bad. I was able to work up the first 4 beds this week and today we seeded peas! Yea! Mr. Big (shelling pea) and Oregon Sugar Pod (snow pea) made the trip from cooler to ground! A great feeling. Snap peas will be right behind. Also today, scallions are going in right behind the garlic where the deer can eye them up but won't eat. Deer are out there big time. Around 18 in the bottom field the other night when I came home from the hospital. No good. Now we plant and seed, plant and seed, plant and seed. Ken is back for another year and has been a big help already. Looks like Stacy will be back Monday and our college friend, Annie, will be around to help also! We might have a work crew after all. Time to move on.

Buying club should open next week. Down this week for the Easter holiday. So, we hope everyone has a nice Easter filled with happiness and health. Be well, and thanks again for the support.

Farmer Don

News and Buying Club

Hi Friends,
This newsletter is coming to you from Geisinger Hospital, Room 209. We've temporarily moved the farm over to here. Been here for a week now going on two. My brave wife Joan endured a tough procedure today and came out the other side beat up but ready to move forward. We count our blessings and thank everyone for the well wishes and support we have received. We know many, many folks are in tougher shape than us and for them we send our thoughts and prayers. We're looking forward to being home soon and moving the farm back to the Toy Factory.

The farm. The weather? Spring? Fourth Noreaster? What's up? The minute I think I can get out into the fields along comes 4 inches of snow. The boss (Joan) says just plant the stuff, so it looks like scallions, salad lettuce, and spinach will go in the tunnel this week, along with an early crop of radishes. I do have the irrigation water up and running so that makes things a lot easier. The pea seeds are in just need some compost and a little kelp meal to add to the soil and we'll be off and running. Thankfully we are going into late March and the sun is really nice right now. I'll be doing another season with a big push on soil health. I really believe in the value of rich, healthy soil to give us those nutrient rich crops. My rototiller has become the tool of last resort. Many correlations between soil health and our health. We have to nurture both!

So, since I feel we are moving back to the farm this week, the buying club will open for sales this weekend. Lots of chicken and eggs to go with the last of the storage crops. Pork is still available, but some cuts are selling out. Raw milk, salmon, beet kavas and sauerkraut are all still available also.

And 2018 CSA shares are selling quick, but still available, let your friends know.

Be well!

farmer Don

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hi Friends,

First time writing on blog with out Joan pasting my email. So, here we go.
Cold night out there, fires every night are the priority after dinner. Early dinner is now the norm, then late chores, tonight Jorma Kaukoen and Quah on the stereo. Music is therapy. Drop the TV.