Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm. Welcome to Week 21 of our CSA. After this week's deliveries, there is ONE delivery remaining in our 2016 CSA. This week is an EGG week and NEXT WEEK IS our final CHICKEN delivery week. I hope everyone is enjoying their Week 21 boxes!
The winter buying club is open this week. Ordering closes at 5 am on Thursday. Deliveries are Friday night to Bloomsburg and Saturday morning to Dallas and Forty Fort and Mountain Top. On farm orders can be picked up after 4 pm on Friday or anytime on Saturday. All buying club ordering is done online. If you have not already done so, you will need to create an account on our website and "purchase" a free winter buying club share. This buying club is separate from our CSA. If you have questions, please contact us at the farm.
Yesterday was our annual running of the pigs. This is a yearly tradition at Dancing Hen Farm. We raise our pigs high on the hill in an abandoned apple orchard. The pigs spend the summer grazing between the trees, sleeping beneath the trees and eating leftovers from our vegetable fields. Each fall we must move the pig down to our barn. So, on a designated fall day, our neighbors gather with us on farm and we literally walk/run the pigs down to the barn. Some years this task is accomplished with little to no stress to humans or animals and other years, well let's just say, "pigs rule the hill". This year, went so smoothly that I missed the actual running. With the run falling on a CSA delivery day, I stepped in and did afternoon deliveries for Farmer Don so he could work with his pigs. By the time Farmer Phil and I were done with deliveries, the pigs were already sleeping peacefully in the barn. Thanks to all who assisted! The farm and the pigs are grateful for your calm assistance.
Last week, we had another gathering of the neighbors as we replaced the plastic on our large greenhouse. Getting plastic over a 30' by 100' metal frame is not an easy task. We tie rocks and rope to one side and literally throw the ropes over the top and then pull on the ropes to pull the plastic over the frame. The clothesline we used as rope wasn't quite up for the task and broke several times, putting some of our helpers on their backsides! Once the plastic is over, we have to work quickly to get it fastened into placed, before the slightest wind creates a giant plastic parachute. Our mission was accomplished and our greenhouse is currently being planted for late winter/early spring production. Thanks again to all who assisted with this task!
Is anyone looking to continue receiving Dancing Hen Farm products after the CSA ends? For the first time, this year, we are offering an extended season to our CSA. This extension will be 4 weeks of deliveries, starting immediately after the regular season ends (November 15). These shares are not being offered through our website and will be farmer's choice partial shares (6 - 7 per week, chosen by Farmer Don). Egg shares are also available. Egg shares will again be every other week, or purchase 2 egg shares for one dozen every week. The cost is $100 for the veggies and 10 for a single egg share. If you are interested, please email the farm. We will need to receive your payment prior to start of the extended season. Payment can be mailed to the farm.
We will also be continuing with our Winter Buying club this year. As I mentioned above, the winter buying club is separate from our CSA. The winter buying club was created as a way for our dedicated farm market shoppers (and CSA customers) to continue to purchase Dancing Hen Farm products after markets close for the season. This buying club is a pay as you go option and requires you to meet us at a designated place and time to pay for and pick up your selections. If you would like to participate in the winter buying club, you will need to "purchase" a free winter buying club share on our website. As always, if you have questions or need additional information, please contact us at the farm.
In the kitchen, I am just about finished with preserving food for the season. I am hoping to can another batch of applesauce and I have some cabbage safely stored away in our cooler to make sauerkraut with. Last winter we added a German fermentation crock to our kitchen "appliance" shelf. Yes, another appliance! And like many of my appliances, I find I do not use the crock as much as I had anticipated. This crock is quite large and in all honesty is too big for most bathes of vegetables I ferment. Recently I fermented some radishes and I would have needed over a half bushel of radishes to fill the crock! That would be a lot of radish pickles! Too many! But, for sauerkraut, the crock is a perfect size. So, this month, Farmer Don and I will brine and pound the cabbage and put up to ferment in the crock. The sauerkraut will easily be ready for the traditional pork and sauerkraut New Year's Day dinner!
Wow, how time flies when you are drinking coffee and writing newsletters! It is now mid to late morning. I need to end this newsletter, as I am driving to Philly today for a doctor's appointment. Wish me luck, with the transit workers on strike!
Be safe, be well and thank you for your continued support of our small farm!