Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm. Welcome to Week 22 of our CSA. This is the last week of the CSA.
First Farmer Don and I both want to thank each and every
member for their support! It is you, our
community, our members and friends of the farm, who enable us to do what we
do. Thank you for allowing us to
"share the harvest" with you!
Thank you also to all of our site hosts, our volunteers and
our employees. Without this support
system we would not be able to do what we do.
The amount of work which goes on behind the scenes by these individuals
is huge. Their hard work makes it
possible for us to get our vegetables, eggs, and chicken to all of you.
Our work and our sharing of the harvest is not over for
2015. As with last year, we will again
be offering a pay as you go winter buying club for as long as the weather
allows us to harvest. This buying club
operates a bit differently than the buying club associated with our CSA. First, we do not drop boxes at central pick
up sites or at individual homes.
Instead, we meet customers at designated time, at a designated
spot. The window for ordering is a bit
different as well. Ordering opens on
Tuesdays at 5 am and closes on Thursdays at 6 am. Deliveries are made on Friday night to
Bloomsburg and Saturday mornings to Dallas, Forty Fort and Mountain Top. You can pick up on farm as well, any time
after 4 on Friday or anytime on Saturday or Sunday. To participate in the buying club, you will
need to purchase a free buying club membership.
Also we need to activate your account before you can order. I try to check the website regularly to
activate individuals, but there will be a delay between registering for this
option and being able to order. As
always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Yesterday was our annual running of the pigs here on
farm. Our pigs spend their summer high
on the hill above our farm. Each fall we
are faced with the challenge of moving these now large hogs off the hill and
into our barn. Some years the run goes
smoothly, other years not so. This was
one of the not so smoothly years. These
pigs have been unusually ornery all season and they really decided to express
their independence yesterday. Eventually
they ended up in the barn, but I am not sure wrestling pigs was an activity our
volunteers expected. Thank you to Mike,
Joyce, Phil, Matt and Kirk for your help.
Without you, I am sure the pigs would still be in the orchard!
Planning for the 2016 CSA is underway and registration
should open in the next week or so.
Please watch your email. As I
have indicated, we are making some changes to for next year. First and foremost we will be limiting our
CSA membership this year to 75 members. Memberships
are reserved once payment is received.
We are changing on farm pick up day from Thursday to Tuesday. Our base CSA price, for pick up on farm, and
our price for shares delivered to a central pick up site will remain the
same. We will however be increasing the
price for home delivery and for egg shares.
We will also be consolidating some of our delivery sites. New this year will be a chicken share. Chickens will be delivered once a month for
the CSA season, with a total of 6 deliveries.
Each delivery, you will receive 2 chickens, one whole and 2 halves. In addition, twice during the season (most
likely in June and November) you will receive a stew hen. Details, including pricing and delivery
location changes, will be announced in an upcoming newsletter and will be
posted to our website. As with past
years, we will be offering an early bird discount and a returning member
discount for 2016.
Pork. Our own Apple Orchard Pork should be available on our
buying club around December 1, if not earlier.
This year all ham and bacon will be cured using a nitrate free
cure. We still have a very limited
amount of bulk/freezer pork available.
If you are interested in bulk pork, please contacted us. Bulk Pork should also be available around
December 1, if not before.
I’m not sure if anyone watches WNEP’s Home and Backyard, but
last week our friends at The Blind Pig Kitchen in Bloomsburg were featured. The Blind Pig is a relatively new farm to
table restaurant in Bloomsburg. Owners
Sarah and Toby are committed to sourcing their ingredients from local farms and
producers. This includes purchasing CSA shares
from us here at Dancing Hen Farm. Here
is a link to the Home and Backyard segment. http://wnep.com/2015/11/07/the-blind-pig-recipe-stuffed-chicken-breast-with-chanterelles-and-leeks/
Boxes! We will make
one last trip to our central pick up sites to collect boxes. Please try and return any boxes to your pick
up site. We will also accept boxes at
our buying club pick ups or on the farm.
The Blind Pig Kitchen in Bloomsburg was featured on WNEP's Home and Backyard. The Blind Pig is a true farm to table restaurant, only sourcing products from local farms and producers. For more information see Blind Pig's website (www.blindpigkitchen.com). And be sure to check out the clip from WNEP:
Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm and welcome to CSA Week
21. Week 21 is an egg week. Hopefully everyone is enjoying this week’s
The 2015 Dancing Hen Farm CSA is rapidly coming to an
end. Next week is week 22 and therefore our
last week. We will be back to the drop
sites in the weeks following the last week to pick up boxes, so please plan to
leave your share boxes at a drop site.
Haven’t the last few days been beautiful? Temperatures in the 70’s in November, what’s
not to like? Farmer Don was working in
shorts today. He has uncovered our
crops under plastic and they are flourishing in this nice weather. I do have to admit, we were complaining a bit
about it being hot outside! Hopefully we
will remember this day come January, when the high for the day is in the
teens! The forecast, however, is
predicting that over the weekend and into next week, we will have more seasonal
temperatures, but nothing too cold.
Before I forget, I need to give some more details on our
apple orchard pork. Our prices for bulk
or freezer pork will be 4.50 per pound hanging weight. Hanging weight is the weight just before the
meat is cut into roasts, chops, etc.
Some hogs are bigger than others.
Average hanging weight should be between 175 and 225 pounds. Thus, half a hog would cost around $375 to
$475 and a whole hog would be $750 to $950.
A half hog would put an average of 70 pounds of meat in your freezer and
a whole hog around 140 pounds. We have opted to have ham and bacon cured this
year with a nitrate free cure. Curing of
the hams and bacon, as well as seasoning of the sausage is included in the price
per pound. There will be an additional
charge if you would like scrapple ($15 per hog) or lard ($75 for a 5 gal
bucket) included with your purchase. If
you have reserved pork, we will be contacting you very soon to confirm your
order. If you have not yet reserved
pork, but would like to, please contact the farm as soon as possible, as our
pigs are leaving the farm early next week.
We anticipate orders to be ready towards the end of this month or the
beginning of December.
As long as I am talking about pork. People interested in purchasing individual
cuts of pork will have the opportunity to do so through our winter buying
club. As with the bulk pork, these cuts
should be available on the buying club in 3 or 4 weeks. Please watch your email for details.
And as long as I am talking about the buying club. Are you interested in continuing to receive
vegetables once the CSA ends or ordering pork or chicken? Consider joining our winter buying club. It is free to sign up, but you will need to
log into our website and “purchase” a winter buying club share. The winter buying club is a pay as you go
program. We deliver buying club orders
to Bloomsburg on Friday evenings and to Dallas, Forty Fort and Mountain Top on
Saturday. You can also pick up your
order on farm after 4 pm on Friday, or any time on Saturday or Sunday. You
will pay for your order (cash or check) when you pick up your order.
On next week’s availability you will continue to see an
assortment of winter squash available, as well as cooking greens. Our mustard greens look really beautiful
right now, as do our turnip greens and Asian greens. Of course all these greens are great added
to stir frys, braised with garlic and olive oil or added to soups. Raw mustard greens have a sharp spicy flavor,
similar to horseradish. Farmer Don likes
to add raw mustard greens to salads. You
can also create a wrap sandwich using mustard leaves as a grain free wrap. To make the leaves more pliable for wrapping,
you can blanch them (dip in boiling water) briefly or simply allow them to sit
out on a paper towel until they wilt.
Also worth mentioning is that the heat from the mustard green will
mellow slightly with cooking. I really
enjoy cooked greens with a fried or poached egg. Recently, I came across this recipe for a
fried egg sandwich with mustard greens. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fried-egg-sandwich-with-canadian-bacon-and-mustard-greens-recipe.html
Another recipe, I don’t think I have mentioned yet this
season, is what we call “Don’s soup”.
This is a really easy and filling soup for a cool fall or winter
supper. I guess a more descriptive title
would be “greens and tortellini soup”. I
think at one point I may have had a recipe, but now we just make the soup as
follows. Add a bit of olive oil or
butter to your soup pot and saute some diced onions, garlic and carrots. Once these veggies are tender add several quarts
of stock (chicken or vegetable) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add
tortellini and cook until the tortellini is not quite tender (6 or 7 minutes?).
Next add chopped greens (kale, mustard,
turnip, chard, etc – your choice) and continuing cooking for several minutes
until the greens are tender and tortellini is cooked through. Once everything is cooked, stir in some
crushed red pepper. Ladle into bowls and
top with grated parmesan cheese.
Farmer Don and I want to again thank each of you, our community
members, for your support and patience during this CSA season. As most of you know, we faced many challenges
during this growing season. It truly has
been you, our community, which has kept us farming this season. On farm, we are ready for the slower pace of
winter. Ready to reflect, regroup and
We have already been planning for 2016. Registration for our 2016 CSA will open up
soon. We do have a few changes planned
for 2016, so watch your email for details.
The dogs are eagerly staring at me waiting for their
nighttime walk, so I will wrap things up.
Have a great week!