Sunday, June 16, 2013

Here is a re-post of our Week 1 newsletter.

Welcome to the start of the 2013 Dancing Hen Farm Season.  Looks like a rainy start to year six.  Much is new this year around the farm, while many aspects remain the same.

An update on family.  Joan and I remain well, taking life on a daily basis with  its ups and downs.  This year will be dedicated to my Mom, as she became another of our farm angels, joining Mrs. Miller in Heaven to watch over the farm from above.  Love you Mom!

Farm hands this year include Neil, back for his second year.  Peter, back for a fourth year and working a few more days. And Lydia, our new intern from Unityville, going to school at Mansfield.  Members and friends of the farm Jason and Paul have also been coming out this spring to help us get the season rolling.

New to the farm this year, include a nice seed house and updated high tunnels.  We have our first heated greenhouse, to be constructed this fall, with thanks to John at the Dallas Nursery for making this happen.  We have new pieces of equipment, along with the challenges of learning how to use them.  Also this year is our first season using the completed irrigation system.  The water system has been a blessing.  Prior to this rainy week, the farm was very dry, down over 2 inches of rain from normal.

Moving inside, Joan and I have been working with the Sheltermouse, Hal, to develop a new website.  I know many of you have joined as choice members.  Adding the choice program to our CSA has been a nice investment.  I am confident any bugs in the system will be worked out and all who have signed up for choice will enjoy the opportunity to tailor make your shares each week.  With the new website, we will be moving newsletters to electronic, getting away from the huge weekly print jobs.  Look for my usual rantings along with recipe ideas, crop updates and nutritional information to come your way weekly through email.

One of the constants on the farm remains our focus on growing quality, nutrient dense vegetables and sharing the harvest.  Each spring, our boxes are filled with greens.  Greens, greens, greens.  What to do with all the greens?  Eat and enjoy them!   For many you can separate the leaves from the stems, chop, bag and store them for the week to stir fry, saute, braise or eat raw with salad.  Enjoy them over rice, with pasta, or with eggs.  Many, many ways to enjoy the spring harvest.  Cooking shows and the internet abound with menu ideas and suggestions.  We will provide some favorites and I am sure you have some of your own.  Just, please, cook and enjoy.
Time to harvest all those goodies.  So, a big thanks to all those site hosts and returning members who help each year to spread the word.  And a big welcome to new members, enjoy the next twenty-two weeks, as we share the harvest and enjoy the bounty Mother Nature provides.
Be Safe, Be Well
Farmer Don

General Notes and Information:
Are my veggies washed?  Most items have been rinsed, but not thoroughly washed.  We suggest you wash most items again.
Storage of Greens:  Washed and dried salad greens can be wrapped in a damp towel and stored in a plastic bag in your fridge.  Likewise, bunched greens will store best in a plastic bag.  An ice water bath will quickly revive wilted greens. 
A word on boxes:  Your share will be packed in a waxed produce box.  We re-use these boxes.  Please take care when opening or folding boxes by sliding the tops to avoid tearing the tabs.  Leave your box at your pick up site and we will pick it up next week.  We also reuse egg cartons and berry boxes.  These items can also be left at your pick up site.

Chinese Cabbage Salad (according to Farmer Don)

This is one of Farmer Don's favorite ways to use Chinese or Napa cabbage. This is a very flexible recipe and I would suggest tasting the dressing and adjusting ingredients to your taste.
Note:  All amounts and ingredients are approximate
2-4 Cups of finely sliced Chinese Cabbage and/or Napa Cabbage (bok choy also works)
Handful of finely sliced green and/or red pepper (optional)
Handful of finely sliced onion or green onions

2 T lime juice
2 T white wine
2 T rice wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 T sugar
A splash of sesame oil.

Whisk dressing ingredients in a bowl, taste and adjust amounts as necessary.  Combine veggies with dressing and enjoy!