Thursday, June 26, 2014

Week 2 - 2014 Newsletter
Welcome to week two. A nice week weather wise. Hot and sticky in the beginning of the week (the air conditioner finally went in - thanks Neil!), a touch of rain, then less humid but still warm. The farm processed our first batch of broiler chickens this past week. These will be available for purchase on the buying club. I'll provide more details about the buying club in another email.
More farm news includes Rosie, one of our farm dogs, met up with a porcupine on Sunday. Luckily she only had about a dozen quills around her mouth so we were able to get them out. A lesson learned there.
On to the crop report. Garlic scapes and green garlic will be going out for the next few weeks. Looks we'll be digging up our first bed of new potatoes shortly. Tomatoes and tomatillos look real good, as we build higher and higher trellises. A nice variety of, though small amounts , of herbs are growing as well. Lots of basil and parsley should be planted this week. Lettuce continues to head up well. Snow peas are coming on in abundance. These work really well in a stir fry. Sugar snap peas shouldn't be far behind. Beets and carrots are being weeded and watered regularly in anticipation of a strong future crop. Zucchini and yellow squash will be coming on in big numbers shortly. This week's harvest of squash is more of a "gourmet" size. Pickling and Slicing cucumbers are flowering up nicely. Winter squash should be all planted this week. Kale and chard are regrowing after their first harvest, and hopefully the groundhog will allow us to harvest broccoli. The first run of Asian greens are just about done, with some small plantings left to harvest.
Finally a quick thanks to Nut Creek Farm and Mad Dog Farm for helping us to share the harvest.
Please remember to return boxes as we strive to be as sustainable as possible. Also please treat our boxes gently, remembering to slide open the tops to avoid tearing them.
Have a great week, be safe and be well,
Farmer Don

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Week 2 Choice is now open!  Each week you can order your items for the following week from 6 pm on Thursday until 6 pm on Sunday.

Our featured item this week is garlic scapes.  Scapes are the flower stalk of the garlic.  Farmers cut the scapes off each spring in order to encourage the garlic plant to make large bulbs.  Scapes are truly a seasonal item, only available for a few weeks each spring.  Several years ago The New York Times featured green garlic and scapes in a dining and wine article. (  
Garlic scapes are great sauteed with your favorite greens, made into pesto or try grilling them.   Be sure to check our pinterest site for more garlic scape recipes (

New to the list this week include lettuce, the very first cucumbers, snow peas, squash and basil transplants.  The first few harvest of these items are often limited, but more will become available in the coming weeks.  The basil transplants right now are beautiful sweet basil.  We suggest re-potting your basil into a slightly larger pot and keeping it on your kitchen counter, where it can be conveniently added to your favorite dishes.

The first few weeks of the CSA is always a good time to go over some FAQ's:

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.
I am going on vacation, or am unable to pick up my box.  We would ask that you try to find someone else (a friend or neighbor) to pick up your box.  We can also arrange for you to pick up your box early or late on farm or pick up your box at a farmer's market we attend.  All boxes remaining at your pick up site will be donated at the site host's discretion.

I am running late and may not make it to my pick up site by 6.  Please call your site host and see if they can hold your box until the next day or make alternate arrangements for you to pick up.

I would like to come out and visit/tour the farm:  Great!  We love visitors!  We do ask that you call or email us first.  That way we can be certain someone is available to talk with you and give you a tour.

I am not sure what some of the items in my box are?  The following websites may help.  or  The second website is also a great source for recipes.

I forgot to choose my items!  Don't worry, you will still receive a box.  Members not selecting items receive a Farmer's Choice box.  This is generally a mix of the items on the pack for the week.  Again don't worry, it is a custom packed box of veggies, not just the leftovers from the weeks selection.  It may even contain some surprise items which didn't make it to the choice list!

So, happy choosing!  And as always if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the farm.

Farmer Don and Joan

Monday, June 9, 2014

CSA Starts and Farm News

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

It is finally time.  CSA deliveries start next week.  That means ordering starts this week!  Ordering for Week 1 will begin Thursday, June 12 at 6 pm and will end Sunday, June 15 at 6 pm.  You will need to log into our website using your email and password you registered with, in order to make your selections.  If you are having difficulty, please contact the farm.  All items are available first come first serve!  Happy picking!

Please note all OFF FARM CSA deliveries are on TUESDAY.  We guarantee your box will be at our drop-site after 4 pm.  All ON FARM CSA pick-ups will be on Thursday, with boxes available after 4 pm.  Please watch for an additional email with the details of your pick up site.  Our website is being updated and may not reflect these delivery days, sorry for the confusion.

There will be NO buying club this week!  We will be busy getting ready for Week 1 CSA and Forks Farm Market.  Please consider visiting us at Forks Farm Market on Saturday.

On farm we are happy to finally see some warm temperatures.  Our fields are filling up with plants.  We have most of our tomatoes planted and we continue with rotations of greens and beans.  Our first planting of summer squash and cucumbers are sizing up nicely.  We are growing a new Asian green this year, vitamin green.  Vitamin green is a tender, rather sweet green similar to bok choy and tatsoi.  Try it raw in salads or sauteed with garlic and olive oil.

We are once again battling the resident groundhogs!  Those of you who have been with us for a few years know this has been an ongoing issue.  Our dogs seem to have driven them away from our lower fields, but our upper fields are now serving as a groundhog buffet.  Unfortunately lots of our spring broccoli, kale and cabbage are planted in these fields and groundhogs love these brassicas.  Looks like we will be walking the dogs up there more often!

This Saturday we will be at Forks Farm Market (www.forksfarmmarket) from 10 am to 2 pm.  This is a really great market on the Hopkins family farm.  This market is well known for its variety of vendors and products available, well worth the drive.  We will be there with a variety of greens and transplants.  If you come to market, please stop by our table, say hello and see what we are harvesting!

We do still have a few CSA memberships available.  Please contact the farm, so we can arrange for your first delivery!  If you have signed up on our website and we have not received payment or you have not contacted us concerning payment, you will not be able to sign onto our website to order and you will not receive a box for week 1.

There are a multitude of reason we do what we do, but most important to us is to be able to share our harvest of nutrient dense vegetables with our community.  Thanks to each of you for your support of our farm and local agriculture!

Farmer Don and Joan
Dancing Hen Farm

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Lydia and thanks for modeling the Wigs and Pigs pointer for WNEP!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2014 Season CSA Starting June 17th!

Members, supporters and friends of the farm:

Dancing Hen Farm is proud to announce the start of the 2014 CSA Season.  After much hard work this spring and many crop walks to determine rate of growth, we have decided to make our first delivery be on June 17th.  I wish to apologize for the earlier information stating we would start June 10th.  While our plantings continue to catch up, the simple fact is, that due to the late spring our availability of crops has been delayed.

The first CSA choice window will open Thursday, June 12th and close Sunday, June 15, with the first delivery again being Tuesday, June 17th.  The first on farm pick up will be Thursday, June 19.  The last delivery will be the week of November 10th. 

I want personally thank all of our members and supporters for your patience and understanding.  Vegetable growing and farming is a challenging business which we wouldn't be able to do without your support.  I look forward to meeting each of you this season either here at the farm, at our drop sites, or at market to express my thanks personally.  We are planning a few open houses at the farm this season to allow everyone the opportunity to see where and how your crops are grown.

Look for more detailed emails concerning the start of the CSA coming soon and thanks again for your support.

Farmer Don