Spring Greetings From Dancing Hen Farm!
The buying club will be open this week. Online ordering begins on Tuesday at 5 am. We still have a good supply of apple orchard pork, eggs and pastured poultry.
Even with snow on the ground, the signs of spring are here on farm. We are seeing robins daily and the male gold finches coming to our feeders are slowly starting to get their summer yellow plumage. Before the ground became white again, I saw a few of my flower bulbs starting to push through the soil. The maple tree by our parking area has large beautiful buds. And, it appears some of our kale may have survived the bitter winter temperatures. We have some rows covered in plastic and before this latest snow covered them again, I was able to see some green growth. Once the snow melts and the weather warms a bit more, we will uncover these rows. Stay tuned for what we find!
Our farm is slowly awakening from the winter slumber, as we gear up for our eighth year of production. This week we will be receiving 200 new laying hens, so we should have a good supply of eggs this year. These chickens will begin laying eggs in about 4 to 6 weeks. They will temporarily be housed in our barn and we will move them to mobile chicken coops in the field once the weather warms and the grass greens up a bit.
Last week we did some seeding of lettuce and scallions. This week we will most likely do some additional seeding of cooking greens and more lettuce. Farmer Don is still a bit nervous about getting seeding started too early. With the persistent snow cover, cool nighttime temperature and deep frost, we anticipate our fields will not be ready for planting any time soon. If we get plants seeded too early, they become leggy and pot bound before the fields are ready. Healthy transplants produce beautiful nutrient dense crops.
Farmer Don and I were at a potluck this weekend and made a new recipe I thought I would share with everyone. It is a savory sweet potato cheddar bread pudding, with of course some kale or other cooking green added as well. Here is a link to the recipe. http://www.dixiecaviar.com/dixie-caviar/2010/01/11/sweet-potato-and-cheddar-savory-bread-pudding.
We are starting to get our work crew lined up for this summer. Many of you have already met Farmer Phil at buying club pick-ups and last fall's markets. Phil will be working with us this summer as well, helping out with market and helping out in our pack house during harvest and CSA pack days. Phil's brother Farmer Matt will be joining us in a few weeks as well. Matt worked with us a few years back, helping with harvest, pack and deliveries. We are excited to have him back and more involved in all of our on farm activities.
We do still have CSA memberships available. Our CSA runs for 22 weeks and all members can choose the items they receive in their boxes each week. All sign ups are done online (www.dancinghenfarm.com). We generally start deliveries the first week of June, depending on weather. If you have questions about our CSA, please contact us at the farm.
Thanks again to all of you for your support of our farm and local agriculture.