Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!
Buying club ordering is open for deliveries this weekend. Ordering closes tomorrow, Thursday, morning at 5 am. We have lots of eggs and pork available, as well as a limited supply of storage vegetables.
Each week when I get ready to write the farm newsletter, I ask Farmer Don if he want me to mention anything. This week his comment was, the crazy weather. So, as always, we will touch a bit on the weather.
It seems lately our weather pattern has been spring springing and then winter roaring back with a vengeance. Our low last weekend was 5 and I see this weekend lows are to be near 10, with a possible snow storm the beginning of next week! Perhaps this will be the "onion snow" and then we will see spring? Wishful thinking, I am sure. But, today the sun is already shining and the breeze should help to dry some of the mud.
Yes, the weather has, once again, impacted our crops. We had several beds of greens which we overwintered under plastic. These plants were looking really good and starting to grow. Unfortunately, their growth was a bit too early. This young tender growth was very vulnerable to last weekend's super cold temperatures and we lost many of these plantings. As Farmer Don always says "Mother Nature bats last". Although we are disappointed with these losses, these beds will be turned over quickly and replanted and we should still have greens to harvest by sometime in April. Farmer Don is, also, starting to play in the dirt, well, the potting mix. Flats are being filled and seeds are being planted. By the middle of this month, we hope to be working in our fields. We try to get peas planted in March, followed closely by potatoes.
In the kitchen we have been in soup mode. The most memorable was, over the weekend, when Farmer Don made a really delicious French onion. As always, he uses a Cook's Illustrated recipe, this one called for caramelizing the onions in the oven. Onion soup is one of Farmer Don's favorites and we have always struggled with caramelizing the onions on the stove top. I think we never left them cook long enough to obtain the beautiful brown color or sweetness. The oven/roasting method for the onions is so simple and produces nicely caramelized onions and delicious soup. Here is a link to the recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/french-onion-soup-the-cooks-illustrated-way-344164
Once again we can use help from friends and members of our farm. This time of year, Farmer Don likes to take some time out of his schedule to connect with the communities we share our harvest with. He will be out and about this spring visiting our drop sites for some "meet the Farmer" events. Farmer Don is, also, available to set up information tables at community events or give short presentations to groups in your community. Please contact the farm is you know of events coming up in your community or groups looking for speakers. Thanks in advance for your help!
I also want to, again, thank everyone who has joined and paid for a 2017 CSA share. As I have said in the past, Farmer Don and I are always humbled by the number of people who return year after year to share the harvest with us. We also want to welcome and thank all of our new members. We do still have shares available for the 2017 season. Memberships are taken in the order in which membership is received and we anticipate limiting egg and vegetable shares this season. As always, if you have questions for us, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The sun is shining. Farmer Don and the dogs are out and about taking advantage of today's beautiful weather. My coffee intake is at my limit. So, I think I will end this here. Until next week.......