Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm! Please read on for some important updates.
The Farmer has spoken and our CSA first delivery will be June 14 and will run for 22 weeks. This year, ALL boxes will be available on Tuesday, both off farm deliveries and on farm pickups. On farm boxes will be available anytime after 9 am on Tuesdays this year. If you have selected to pick up your box at one of our pick up sites, the week before deliveries begin, you will receive an email with site details.
And, Farmer Don has updated member accounts on our website. This means, if you have sent in your 2016 payment, your online account should reflect this. If your account is still showing funds due and you feel you have paid, please contact us so we can work through this.
We have confirmed that we will be at the Pittston Farmers Market on Tuesdays this season, starting on July 5. Thanks to Farmer Jason for helping us out with this market! This means we will be at four markets this season. Starting on July 9th we will be at the Back Mountain Memorial Library market every Saturday. Please note, the location of this market moved last year to the Dallas elementary school. This year, we are again returning to Forks Farm Market in Orangeville. Forks is the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, with the next market on May 28th. And finally, on Sundays, we will be returning the Mountain Top market held in the Crestwood High School parking lot.
Signups for our 2016 CSA have been strong, but we still do have a few spots available. If you are interested in obtaining 22 weeks of organically grown veggies, please sign up on our website. www.dancinghenfarm.com Remember we are a full choice CSA, meaning each week you have the opportunity to choose the items you receive in your box. In addition to veggie shares, we also offer egg and chicken shares. If you have questions concerning our CSA, please do not hesitate to contact us.
I think that about covers our announcements. Now onto the weather and farm updates!
You know I am unable to write a newsletter without talking about the weather, especially considering the weather we have been having. Monday morning was not a good weather event for the farm. After enduring sleet storms and heavy wind all day Sunday, Monday morning brought a hard freeze. Despite Farmer Don's hard work and effort to cover crops, we still had crop loss on farm. Our cucumber and summer squash were nipped - both in the field and in our germination greenhouse. We are hoping these plants will grow out of the damage, but they will definitely be set back. At this point we are thinking this first planting of these crops will be ready about the same time as the yet unplanted second planting. We also had damage to our potatoes. They were sprouting nicely in the field and now they are blackened by freezing temperatures. In all honesty, we are not certain if these potatoes will come back. Luckily Farmer Don was able to quickly secure some additional seed potatoes and they were planted today. In our germination greenhouse, we also had damage to tomato seedlings. We over planted most varieties with the hopes of selling some seedlings at market, but now we will most likely be needing every surviving seedling for our own fields. On a positive note, our peas are looking good, as are our greens and radishes. Now all of our plants need some sun and warmth to get growing! Long term forecast is showing a possible warming trend the end of next week.
The farm is really buzzing with activity right now. May is probably one of our busiest months on farm. The tractor seems to be continually in the fields, as ground is tilled, beds are formed and plants are set out. At the same time, we continue seeding in the seed house. Many crops, such as salad and cooking greens are seeded every few weeks, so we can have a continual planting and hence, harvest from our fields. Within the next 3 weeks all of our crops will be planted, even the second rotational planting of some. We will continue planting rotations of greens, beans and root crops until August or September.
We are currently harvesting a small amount of spinach, mixed Asian greens and radishes from the fields. If you are interested in purchasing any of these foods, eggs or pork, please contact us at the farm. We will have the veggies at Forks Market on the 28th.
In the kitchen, we are so happy to again be enjoying Dancing Hen Field to Table cooking. Harvesting Asian greens mean lots and lots of stir frys. Stir Frys are a go to recipe for us all season, as they allow us to quickly get dinner on the table and are flexible enough to allow us to use whatever crops we are harvesting. I use a basic recipe found in Andrea Chesman's Serving up the Harvest cookbook, but numerous recipes can be found online or in other cookbooks. Recently we have also been firing up the stand mixer to make homemade pizza dough. We turn this dough into pizza or calzones. For me there is something so satisfying about working with dough -- the smell of the yeast, the feel of the dough and of course the taste of the end result! Spinach calzones are a favorite right on farm now. Over the weekend, when the chill was back in the air, we decided soup was in order. We used greens and some ground pork to make a delicious and warming Lion's head meatball soup. This was the basic recipe I followed. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Lions-Head-Meatballs-Nappa-Cabbage I didn't have water chestnuts in the pantry, so I skipped that ingredient and used mixed Asian greens rather than all nappa cabbage. We also added a bit of hot sauce and a bit more broth to make more of a soup. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Ah yes, the sun is up and Farmer Don has already out in the fields. Time to get to work!
Have a great day and watch your email for farm and communications and csa updates in the upcoming days and weeks.