Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 Week 2 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!  Welcome to Week 2 of our CSA.  Week 2 is not an egg week. 

CSA Members:  Please note, next Tuesday is July 4th.  We will NOT be delivering on Tuesday next week.  All boxes will be delivered on Wednesday, July 5th.  Thank you for understanding, as many of the businesses we deliver to will be closed for the holiday.  Have a Happy and Safe Fourth!!!

I almost want to say welcome to Fall!  The morning temperatures have been almost chilly.  Our lows, here on farm, the past few mornings have actually been in the 40's.  Sweat shirts have become our morning farm uniform.  Farmer Don has even threatened to pull out his long underwear.  I told him he gets more and more like my father every day!  As my Dad got older and his arthritis worsened, he used to say "I put my long underwear away on July 3rd and get it back out July 5th".  Let's hope Farmer Don has not decided he needs long johns in July!!!
The greens are loving these cooler days.  Lettuce continues to look good.  Chard and kale is beautiful.  Our first planting of Asian greens (bok choy and chinese cabbage) are starting to wind down.  Succession plantings of greens are coming along and hopefully we can keep salad and cooking greens available for most of the season.  Peas are also liking these cooler temperatures.  Varieties and availability should increase on these as our harvest increases.  Look for shelling and snow peas becoming available next week.

Summer crops are also looking good.  We have started to harvest zucchini and cucumbers.  Look for availability of these both of these crops to increase in the next few weeks.  We have a large planting of zucchini and summer squash which should be ready for harvest very soon.  We apologize for the blemishes on the skin of some of the zucchini and cucumbers.  This is from an early and very aggressive attack of cucumber beetles.  Hopefully the new fruit ripening and the second plantings will have escaped the beetles.  Tomatoes are sizing up nicely and starting to flower.  We are happy to say the tomato plant thief has not struck recently.  Tomatillos look beautiful, so get your recipes out for these!  We continue to finish up planting peppers and eggplant.

Our Farmers Markets are starting.  The Mountain Top market begins this Sunday, July 2.  Market is in the Crestwood High School parking lot and runs from 9 to 1.  If you are in the area, stop by and say hello to Farmer Don.  He will have veggies (greens!), eggs, pork and a small amount of chicken for sale.

Our kitchen is still focused on greens and proteins for most meals.  I have to say, I really cannot get enough of "green eggs".  Such a simple meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  If you have never made this dish, it is very simple, requiring no recipe and most importantly little time!  Start by sauteing the greens with a bit of onion or garlic.  Once the greens have softened, stir in the eggs and cook as you would scrambled eggs.  Serve plain or with toast or small side salad.
CSA Buying Club members please watch for more items becoming available for purchase on our buying club, including pork and salmon.  You will place your buying club orders with your weekly CSA order.  Buying club orders will then be delivered with your CSA box.

It is getting late! The temperature has warmed into the 50's, Farmer Don is out doing animal chores and I need to get this day moving along.  As always thank you for your continued support of our farm.  Have a great week and from Farmer Don "be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies".

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Week 1 CSA Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!  Welcome to Week 1 of our 2017 CSA.  Week 1 is an egg week.  Week 1 is also a Chicken Share Week.

Welcome to Summer!  Happy Summer Solstice! 

The weather has been almost refreshing the last couple of days, but Monday was anything but!  Mondays are our big harvest day here on farm.  We spend the whole day and into the evening harvesting and packing CSA boxes.  This Monday was a challenging harvest with high humidity and tropical like down bursts throughout the day.
Speaking of harvest.  Our greens are looking good right now.  Swiss Chard and Red Russian Kale are beautiful and plentiful and our lettuce and salad mix is looking really nice as well.  Some Asian greens and lots of herbs were also on the harvest list this week.  We are harvesting both garlic scapes and green garlic.  These are two garlic products only available in the spring, so enjoy them while you can.  Our peas are starting to recover from their deer attack and although we anticipate our yield will be a bit low, we are still hoping to have plenty of peas to harvest.  Zucchini and cucumbers are flowering and slowly starting to set fruit so, you can expect to see these crops increase in availability as the weeks move along.

Our fields are filling up. 

Tomatoes and summer crops are planted and the tomatoes in our unheated greenhouse are flowering.  Sungold tomatoes, a real favorite around here, have been planted twice.  Yes, twice.  Our first planting, out in the field, was completely eaten (or stolen?) by some critter.  Almost 100 tomato plants vanished overnight!  That is a first for us.  I was in a panic, afraid we would have no sungolds this year.  But, Farmer Don still had a tray and those were quickly planted in the high tunnel, hopefully far from the tomato thief! 

We have several plantings of snap beans in the ground and if we can keep the deer away from them, we should have a nice harvest in several weeks.  Our potatoes are looking good, but not quite flowering.  However our second planting of zucchini is flowering, so lots of squash coming your way!  We are already looking forward to fall , with winter squash and pie pumpkins planted last week.  Greens, cooking and salad, will continue to be planted in hopes of keeping these crops available throughout the season.
In the kitchen we are so happy to be eating greens every day!  This time of year finds us too busy to create in the kitchen, so simple and quick meals rule.  The day usually starts with a kale smoothie or green eggs (eggs scrambled with greens).  Dinner usually starts with a salad and includes simple sauted greens with a protein on the grill. 

CSA members, remember choice for week 2 opens tomorrow, Thursday, at 6 pm. 

A quick note, concerning reduce and reuse.  We try hard to reduce our contribution to landfills and reduce our carbon footprint.  One way we do this is by, whenever possible, reusing packaging from your weekly shares.  As you all know, we reuse the wax produce boxes your shares are packed in.  We also reuse the green berry boxes items are portioned into and clean dozen sized egg cartons.  Any of these items can be returned to your pick up site for us to pick up.

As always, I cannot express our thanks to you, our members and friends of the farm.  Thank you for your support of our farm, local agriculture and sustainable farming.  Without you, our community, we would be unable to do what we do.  Unable to work to preserve this rocky hillside we call home.

Oh my, I just looked at the clock and it is past my bedtime.  Morning will come quickly tomorrow!  So, I will end here, quoting Farmer Don, "be safe, be well, and enjoy those veggies".

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 CSA Ordering and CSA Starts this week!

Dancing Hen Farm CSA 2017 Week 1
Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!  Welcome to Dancing Hen Farm CSA!
You are receiving this email because you are a member of our 2017 CSA.  In the next few days you will receive additional emails, including one with details for your specific pick up site and another newsletter.  Sorry for all the emails!  Once the season gets rolling you can generally expect one email a week, our weekly newsletter.
It is finally time. Our first CSA delivery is Tuesday, June 20.  That means ordering starts this week!  Ordering for Week 1 will begin Thursday, June 15 at 6 pm and will end Sunday, June 18 at 6 pm. You will need to log into our website using your email and password you registered with, in order to make your selections. If you are having difficulty, please contact the farm. All items are available first come first serve! Happy picking!  If you forget to order, you will still receive a box, a farmer's choice box.
Please note all CSA boxes will now be available on Tuesday.  We guarantee your box will be at our drop-site after 4 pm.  On farm CSA boxes are available on Tuesday, after 9 am.
For Week 1, we are looking to harvest swiss chard, kale, lettuce, salad mix, Asian greens, green garlic, radishes, eggs and herbs.  Green garlic is young garlic and can be used as you would cloves of garlic.  Remember herbs can be frozen fresh in water filled ice cube trays, dried or made in to delicious pestos.  Try making pesto with sage, green garlic and walnuts.  This pesto pairs well with pasta or pork.
Please note, WEEK 1 IS AN EGG WEEK.  This means if you signed up for an egg share, you will receive eggs in your box this week.  We are also putting a half dozen eggs on the choice list.  These half dozen eggs would count as a choice item and are in addition to any egg shares purchased. 
Please note, WEEK 1 IS ALSO A CHICKEN WEEK.  This means if you signed up for a chicken share, you will receive chicken this week.  Chicken comes frozen and will be in a cooler at your pick up site.  There should be a bag inside the cooler with your name on it.
There are a multitude of reasons we do what we do, but most important to us is to be able to share our harvest of nutrient dense vegetables with our community. Thanks to each of you for your support of our farm and local agriculture.

Be safe, be well and watch your inbox for site details and farm news!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

CSA 2017 Start Dates

Hi Farm friends and supporters!
We are really happy to announce the first delivery of veggies will be Tuesday June 20th, with the first day to order veggies being Thursday June 15th. Ordering details will follow in upcoming emails.
While all of us here on the farm have been busy with all that goes into bringing our community the great vegetables you have come to expect from us,seeding, nurturing, tending the soil, and growing, Mother Nature has said, "Have patience my dear. Good things will come to those who wait." "Okay, I'll work with you", I said. No problem, two feet of snow on the ground through the end of March, countless cloudy, cool days, a two week upper level low to start the month of May. But, as always we look forward, never back. We currently have over 40 different varieties of vegetables and herbs planted in the ground. Patiently waiting for the 'fruit' to ripen. So, with this in mind, and wanting to give you, our understanding, supportive community the best possible season, we have decided to practice patience. This is our 10th year growing vegetables and Spring in NEPA always proves to be an opportunity. In two weeks, you will begin a summer long journey with us, through the seasonal harvest cycle. Some of you will continue on through the fall to enjoy the end of year bounty. Since we are starting the summer season two weeks late, the fall season will move back two weeks as well.
We move forward, as only we can, with the blessing of the universe, and the support of our community.
Be well, and look for many more notices coming shortly as we start the 2017 Dancing Hen Farm CSA.