Greetings From Dancing Hen Farm. And Welcome to March!
March, in like a lion, out like a lamb? Let's hope the lamb is as strong as the lion and latter half of the month is warm and lacking in snow. Sunday, March 1st, was the meteorological first day of spring. We spent that first day of spring, as most of you did, watching the snow fall! I think many more people associate the first day of spring with the spring equinox, which this year is March 20th. And I certainly hope we spend that day working in the fields rather than watching the snow fall!
Speaking of the weather and spring. Farmer Don has held off on getting planting going. With overnight temperatures still predicted in the single digits to low teens and our greenhouses unheated, we cannot risk getting seeds going only to lose them to the cold. He is really itching to get his hands in some soil though! This coming weekend he is hoping to begin seeding a few transplants in our basement and next week he will be doing some planting bed preparation in our large unheated greenhouse. With the sun higher in the sky he will be working in the greenhouse in short sleeves! The sun makes our greenhouses a real oasis on a sunny day! The problem is without a heat source, the night time temperatures still fall way below the freezing mark on these cold early spring nights.
Peas are one my favorites! Here at Dancing Hen Farm we plant sugar snap peas, snow peas and shelling peas. It is an old tradition to plant your peas on St Patrick's Day. Peas will actually germinate in soils as cool as 50 degrees, with 60 to 65 degree soil temperatures being optimal. Farmers generally try to get their peas planted as soon as the soil can be worked. This means the ground has dried enough to crumble and not clod or cake up when cultivated. We are estimating our snow pack on farm is at least a foot and Farmer Don is thinking we will be planting peas on April Fool's Day. Which by the way is pretty much when our peas were planted last year.
Oh yes, the main reason for this newsletter was to let everyone know our buying club is open again this week. Ordering is open and will close at 5 am on Thursday, with deliveries this weekend. You will notice our vegetable availability has decreased this week. We do, however, have a good supply of eggs, chicken, apple orchard pork and Stillwater Fields beef.
We are continuing to receive new CSA memberships. Please remember we do have a limited number of shares available and we have sold out in past years. All memberships are held in the order in which payment is received, not in the order in which online registration is made. Our 22 week CSA is a full choice CSA, meaning all members are given the opportunity choose which veggies they receive in their box each week. For our members' convenience, we also offer home deliveries to some areas of Luzerne and Columbia Counties. Please contact the farm to determine if your home or business is within our home delivery area. For general CSA information or to purchase a membership, please visit our website. www.dancinghenfarm.com
Over the weekend we had a small impromptu dinner party and Farmer Don made a great lasagna. Lots of nostalgia here, as we used my Mother's recipe and lasagna pan! Of course, we used Dancing Hen Farm beef, sausage, dried herbs and canned tomatoes in the sauce. I have to confess, the noodles and the cheese were not locally sourced. I cannot wait for summer, when I can replace the noodles with zucchini or eggplant. I love lasagna and my mouth is watering just writing about it. We have some leftovers, I am thinking lasagna for dinner tonight!
Speaking of recipes, I am always looking for recipes. I try to have printed recipes available on our farm market tables. As any of you who reads these newsletters knows, I also like to share cooking and recipe tips here. And I try to update our pinterest page with recipes as well. So, send me your recipes!
Speaking of cooking. Farmer Don is in from morning chores. Times to make some eggs for breakfast!
Take care, stay warm and yes, spring is coming!