Greetings from cooler wetter Dancing Hen Farm!
So, so nice to see yesterdays rain! We received around an inch here at the farm, causing the entire farm a collective sigh of relief. Everything already looks greener! Irrigating our fields just does not compare to the positive effects of a good rain.
Also, nice to have the rain hold off during our open house yesterday. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their Sunday to visit our farm. Farmer Don had just completed the farm tour before the first storm made its way across the farm. Visitors are always welcome on farm. If you would like to visit, we do ask that you call or email us first to be certain someone is down near the house to greet you.
Yes the buying club is open this week. We will once again be harvesting some cooking greens for sale. Greens will again be limited, so order early for the best selection. With summer in full swing, it is grill season. Our chicken and many of our pork and beef cuts cook nicely on the grill. A dancing hen farm favorite are grilled ham steaks. We generally baste the steak with a bit of maple or shag bark hickory syrup before and during grilling. For a treat, grill some pineapple to serve with the ham. In addition to meat and greens, we do still have no-spray potatoes available. There potatoes were grown by a neighbor of ours and a perfect baking potato.
Strawberries! A true early summer treat! New this week, we will be offering a neighbor's no-spray strawberries to our buying club members. Strawberries are just starting to ripen and this grower is estimating that the berries will be ready by the end of this week, but to quote Farmer Don "Mother Nature always bats last". That means, if the berries are not ready this week, your orders will be filled the following week.
On farm this week, we were busy installing a new grass waterway. This waterway will help with erosion and runoff control. Hopefully last night's rain will help the newly seeded grass to germinate. A HUGE thank you goes out to a group of Bloomsburg University students who volunteered on the farm last week. They helped us to secure the erosion control mats on the waterway. This was a really big job, as thousands of small stakes needed to be pounded to secure the mats. Pounding anything into our rocky soil is never and easy task! The mats are necessary to hold the soil in place until the grass roots become established.
Our crops continue to grow and continue to be planted. We are excited to see cucumbers forming on our cucumbers planted in our high tunnel. We have also been filling the high tunnel with tomatoes. Summer squash and greens in the fields look good. Last week we ran drip tape in our peas as they were suffering badly from lack of water. The shelling peas are flowering and setting pods and we anticipate the snap and snow peas to be flowering this week. We have a planting of string beans which are sizing up nicely. Cooking and salad greens have already been planted twice on farm and should be ready to go by our first CSA delivery.
This week we see the arrival of our pigs. They will summer high on a hill in our old apple orchard. In the fields we will be planting winter squash, tomatoes and more greens. We still have a late planting of potatoes which will also hopefully be planted this week. Our peppers are growing nicely in our plant nursery and should be ready for planting in the next few weeks. We will be seeding more transplants for planting, including summer squash, cucumbers and lettuce.
We have had a surge of CSA member sign ups. Thanks and welcome to all new and returning members! We do still have a few spots remaining in our 2015 CSA. We are looking at our first delivery to be on Tuesday, June 15 for off farm deliveries and Thursday, June 17 for on farm pickups. The last delivery will be 22 weeks later during the week of November 9th. Please watch your email for details concerning the first delivery and when and how to order the items for your box.
As always when we see new members, I like to remind everyone that we are on several social media sites. These include facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dancing-Hen-Farm/111155465564952), pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/dancinghencsa/) and a blog (http://www.dancinghenfarmcsa.blogspot.com/).
As always thank you everyone for your support of our farm and local agriculture.
Until next week.....