Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm! Welcome to Week 12 of our CSA. Week 12 is NOT an egg week.
Sorry for the delay in getting this newsletter out to everyone. Time really got away from me this week. I do hope everyone is enjoying their boxes! I also want to give everyone a heads up that next week (Week 13) will be a chicken week. If you purchased a chicken share, don't forget to look for your chicken in the cooler at your drop site.
As we drift into the second half of our CSA, I do believe I feel fall in the air. This morning even felt a bit chilly! The days are definitely getting shorter. It is now 8 pm and already dark and this morning when I left the dogs out at 5:30, I put the porch light on for them. The barn and tree swallows seem to have already migrated from the farm for their southern winter homes and the flowers in our wild areas are changing from white Queen Anne's lace to brilliant yellow Golden Rod. This weekend at market, I noticed the fruit vendors' tables are starting to be filled with more and more apples. I am not complaining, as I do think fall is my favorite season.
Speaking of fall, I am happy to say I am also seeing lots of butterflies on farm this fall. This included quite a few Monarchs. For the past couple of years, I saw very few if any Monarch butterflies. Let's hope we have left enough diversity in our landscapes that these magnificent insects will survive.
However fall is not the season we are actually celebrating on farm right now. We are celebrating tomato season! You will be seeing lots and lots of different tomatoes in your boxes in the coming weeks. We will continue to harvest right up until frost. Our heirlooms are ripening well right now. Remember heirlooms are called "ugly tomatoes" for a reason. Do not expect the heirlooms to be a perfectly shaped tomatoes and don't expect them to be without blemishes. Although I think heirloom tomatoes are beautiful, their real claim to fame is their taste! If you read the descriptions in the seed catalogs, you would think they were selling wine and not tomato seeds! If you are at one of the markets we attend, stop by our table and ask Farmer Don for some samples. He loves to do tomato tastings! Speaking of taste, we are continuing to harvest sungold tomatoes. Sungold tomatoes are orange/yellow sweet cherry tomatoes; a real farm favorite. We are also starting to harvest some grape and paste tomatoes. Something I want to mention again about our tomatoes is the bluish residue you may see on some. This is an organic copper spray we use to control fungus on our crops. Farmer Don is determined to not lose our tomato crop to late blight this year, so he is spraying copper every couple of weeks. Sorry for any inconvenience this may be causing.
Speaking of tomatoes. Are there any canners out there? We will be offering bulk tomatoes through our buying club. The first available will be some certified organic paste tomatoes from our Amish neighbors. Please see the buying club or contact us at the farm if you are interested. If you are not a CSA buying club member, you can pick up pre-ordered bulk tomatoes at one of our markets or here on farm.
In the kitchen, what else would we be focusing meals around, but, tomatoes! This time of year, I eat tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! A simple tomato sandwich (bread and tomato!) for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato for lunch ( I like mine with sharp cheese and open face, under the broiler) and always, always tomatoes some way as a salad for dinner. Growing up, my family ate a lot of tomatoes. Often we simply had sliced tomatoes as our salad. Heirlooms are especially nice served as simple sliced tomatoes. Add some fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a special treat. A favorite salad from my childhood and now a favorite on farm, features sungold tomatoes. No recipe here - halve a pint of sungolds, add some thinly sliced onion and pepper and dress with a simple red wine vinaigrette. You can save the dressing in your fridge for a week or so and add more tomatoes (or cucumbers) each night. Tomatoes also pair wonderfully with pasta. Another farm favorite, pasta with fresh, no cook sauce, also doesn't really require a recipe. Simply chopped a variety of tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. To the chopped tomatoes add some fresh herbs, minced garlic, salt and some olive oil. Cover the bowl and allow the tomato mixture to sit for about 20 or 30 minutes. I usually get the tomatoes ready first and then start the water to boil for the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, I consider the sauce done. Add the pasta and some parmesan cheese to the tomatoes, stir to combine, serve and enjoy! Tonight for supper we had another farm tomato favorite, BLT's, and again, no need for a recipe. Ok, enough about tomato meals, well at least for this week!
A quick reminder concerning share boxes. Thank you to everyone for so diligently returning your boxes. Did you know our boxes fold flat for storage? As many of you know, some of our drop sites have limited space for our boxes. Please when you pick up your share from these sites, fold you box and stack it neatly in the spot designated for boxes.
I also want to remind everyone that in addition to our website, we also have an online blog and a facebook site. I post some farm updates and pictures to both of these sites and post newsletters to our blog. Find our blog at http://dancinghenfarmcsa.blogspot.com/ And if you are on facebook, please visit and like our page at https://www.facebook.com/Dancing-Hen-Farm-111155465564952/
It is getting late, let me get a copy of this printed for Farmer Don and then email and posted for all our members and friends. Have a great week! Be safe and enjoy the veggies.