Monday, April 21, 2014

April News and Buying Club

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

We want to take a moment to update everyone on farm happenings and also to announce our buying club will be opening this Tuesday (4/22), with deliveries Friday (4/25) and Saturday (4/26).  If you would like to order, go to our website and purchase a free winter buying club membership ( .  Please know, we at the farm, need time to activate your account before you can order, so register as soon as possible.  Also this buying club is separate from the buying club offered to our CSA members, so members who have signed up for a CSA buying club will need to also purchase the free winter buying club so they can order products outside of our CSA delivery dates.

We think spring has finally sprung!  We still are not out of danger of frost and freezing overnight temperatures, but the really cold temperatures and the snow should be done for the season. 
So what does this mean for us here at the farm?  It means our seed houses are filling up with trays and trays of seedlings, our fields are getting tilled in preparation of planting, farmers markets are starting up, and our chickens are laying lots and lots of eggs!

We finally have peas and potatoes in the ground.  Our early pea harvest will be a bit later than recent years, but we are planning on a good harvest of snow, sugar snap and shelling peas for our second or third week of CSA deliveries.  We have a small planting of potatoes in one of our unheated greenhouses.  These will be harvested young as tender new potatoes.  This will the first time we have tried potatoes in the greenhouse, so stay tuned for how these turn out.  We generally plant quite a few potatoes out in the field and we have about a quarter to a third of our potatoes in the ground with more to follow in the next few weeks.

We have also started our root crop rotation of field plantings, with beets, carrots, turnips and radishes all being planted last week.  The radishes should germinate quickly and we anticipate radishes in the first weeks CSA boxes.  Scallions are onions will be planted this week, with scallions the first of these crops to be harvested.

The seed houses are filled with trays of cooking and salad greens.  These seedlings will be planted in the field shortly.  Look for kale, swiss chard, Asian greens and salad greens as early items for the CSA.  We have started seeding our warmer season plants, including tomatoes.  Our challenge now is finding enough space for our seedlings before they get planted out.  The tender plants still need protection from chilly overnight temperatures and we never seem to have enough greenhouse space this time of year.

Our laying hens are really enjoying the warmer temperatures and greening up of the farm.  It is so nice to see happy chickens foraging for weeds and insects!  The longer day length means they are once again starting to lay lots and lots of eggs.  We will be getting more laying hens towards the end of May.  Our first batch of meat chickens arrive this week
The CSA is filling up nicely.  We are allowing for a few more memberships this season, so we do still have memberships available.  We are now a Choice CSA, so all members can choose from a list of seasonal items each week.  Part Share members choose 6 items each week and Full Share members choose 10 items each week.  Egg shares are also available to CSA members.  If you have questions about how our Choice CSA operates or our delivery locations, please contact us.

As mentioned above, we are starting our buying club up this week.  Ordering will open Tuesday at 5 am and close Thursday at 11 pm.  All ordering is done online, so to place an order, you will need to register with our website and purchase a FREE winter buying club share.  We will deliver Friday night to Bloomsburg and Saturday morning to Dallas and Forty Fort.  This may be one of our only buying club dates for the spring and all product will be limited.  Please sign up and place your orders early, product is available first come first serve!

We are featuring eggs this week!  Our chickens have free access to our organically managed fields and a their diet is supplemented with organic soy free local grains.  On farm, we eat lots and lots of eggs.  A favorite is what we call green eggs.  Sauted greens mixed in with scrambled eggs as they cook.  We often make extra greens for dinner, so we can add them to our breakfast or lunchtime eggs.  Here are some websites with some good ideas and recipes for pastured eggs:

Our farm calendar for the next few weeks includes Farmers Markets at Bloomsburg University on Friday 4/25 and 5/2 from 8:30 to noon.  We are having a vegetable growers open house and potluck on farm on Saturday 5/3, from 10 am to 1 pm.  This is a PASA (Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture) sponsored event and all are welcome to stop by, see the farm and enjoy some conversation.  On Saturday May 10, we will be at Forks Farm for their first market of the 2014 season.  The Hopkins Family, at Forks Farm run a great market, well worth the trip!  (

A quick comment on our website.  We are still working at cleaning up the financial aspect of the site.  We will be working on it tonight.  But some of your accounts may still show a previous balance owed, even though you know your account does not have a balance.  Please know we are keeping track of payments the old fashioned way (pen and paper!) and will hopefully get the website up to date shortly.  Thank you for your patience with this.  If you have questions or concerns about your account status or balance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our farm and local agriculture! 

Farmer Don and Joan
Dancing Hen Farm