Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6 Farm News

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

First some happenings and announcements.  This Saturday, April 8, we will be participating in a pop up market at 900 Rutter Ave in Forty Fort, PA.  We will have eggs and pork products for sale and will be available to answer any questions about our CSA.  We will be setting up inside or outside, depending on the weather and the market starts at 11 am.  Later in April, on Sunday the 23rd and the 30th, we are partnering with The Blind Pig Kitchen for a series of Meet the Farmer Dinners.  The Blind Pig is a farm to table restaurant in Bloomsburg which sources their ingredient from local farms.  During their Meet the Farmer Dinners, they are offering a five course dinner using ingredients from a featured local producer.  Farmers will be present at the dinner to discuss their farm and growing practices.  So, if you attend on April 23rd or 30th, you will get to meet and hear from Farmer Don.  These dinners are reservation only and the last I talked with Chef Toby, the farm's dinner on the 23rd was sold out, with a few seat remaining for the 30th.  Information can be found on the restaurant's website (  or on their facebook site (
Finally, tomorrow, Farmer Don and Farmer Phil will be out and about in Luzerne County doing some marketing.  If you would like brochures, please contact us and they will gladly deliver some to you

Now, on to the weather, of course.  Yesterday was beautiful, but today is cool and rainy again!  As I sit and type, I can hear the rain pelting the roof and windows and I can hear the water rushing in the drainage ditch across from our house.  I even hear some thunder.  But, I would rather focus on yesterday.  Yesterday was beautiful and  busy day on farm!  Farmer Don and Stacy finished preparing our upper bed for peas and they were able to get our first batch of peas planted.  This made everyone on farm do a happy dance!  The snow, followed by cold rain, has really set us back and getting peas in the ground truly represents the start of the 2017 growing season.  Later in the evening yesterday, we took advantage of the longer day length and with the help of Brittney and Erica, we were able to plant herbs in our unheated greenhouse.  A huge thank you Stacy, Brittney and Erica for helping our farm grow!  And as long as we are thanking our early season farm helpers, thanks to Jason for his continued help on the farm and to Jane for sacrificing a spring break day to help in the seed house.

All things are starting to progress here on farm!  We have some spinach growing in both a field and greenhouse bed.  Believe it or not, the field bed of spinach was planted in February, before our March winter set in.  Spinach does not like heat, so for the spinach's sake, we are actually hoping for a little bit of cooler weather!  Also in our production greenhouse, we have good germination on some radishes and Asian greens.  In an upper, drier, field, Farmer Don has direct some lettuce, radishes, turnip greens and arugula, which should be up soon.  Our garlic has pushed through its straw mulch and is looking good.  Our nursery, heated greenhouse, is filling up and we have moved quite of few trays of seedlings to another unheated seedling house.  Kale, Swiss chard and mustard seedling look really good.  In the next  day or two,  we will be seeding our warmer season crops, including tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, cucumbers and zucchini.

We anticipate "winter" buying club to start up in several weeks and we often get questions concerning our buying clubs.  We offer two separate buying clubs.   One is our winter buying club option.  This is separate from our CSA and there is no fee or commitment to sign up.  Winter buying club deliveries are generally offered before and after our farmers market season.  Winter buying club members either pick up on farm or meet us on Saturdays at a designated location to pick up and purchase their items.  All winter buying club orders are placed through our website.  New members will need to navigate to our website, create an account and "purchase" a free winter buying club membership.  The second buying club is only available to CSA members.  The CSA buying club is a way for CSA members to receive additional vegetables or other farm items with their share box each week.   Participation in the CSA buying club does require a deposit and you can add this buying club option when you purchase your CSA share.

As long as we are talking about our CSA, we do still have memberships for the 2017 season available.  This is the time of year we get calls concerning the details of our CSA, so I will take a bit newsletter space to discuss a few things which make our CSA unique.  First, we are a full choice CSA.  Full choice means each week our members choose the items they wish to receive in their box each week.  We then harvest and custom pack your box for you.  New this year, we are offering two season.  A summer CSA season which will begin in June and run for 18 weeks.  The summer season will be followed by an 8 week fall season starting in October.  We offer 2 sizes of CSA shares.  Full share members receive 10 items in their box each week and partial share member receive 6 items.  In addition to vegetable shares, CSA members can choose to receive eggs or chicken.  Egg shares are one dozen eggs every other week and are available for both the summer and fall season.  Chicken shares are only available for the summer season and will consist of 5 deliveries.  Each chicken delivery will consist of 2 pasture raised chickens (1 whole and 2 halves).  Additional chickens for the fall season can be purchased through our buying club.  As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

So, this newsletter is getting lengthy.  I had some more philosophical topics to blabber on, but I think I will allow everyone to rest their eyes and end here.  Thanks for reading!  And as always, thank you your support of our small family farm and local sustainable agriculture.