Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm! Welcome to Week 8 of our Summer CSA. Week 8 is not an egg week. Last week, Week 7, was an egg week. And next week, Week 9, is the half way point of our summer CSA!
An early August morning and a cool 50 outside! Fall, could it be? The past few days have certainly felt more like fall than the heat of summer we usually feel this time of year. I am sure there are plenty of hot days still to come, but still I am seeing and feeling fall. Apples are falling, golden rod is blooming, days are getting shorter and the geese have started flying over the farm.
Our harvest, however, is still saying summer! Although these cooler temperatures, make Farmer Don's job of predicting harvest a bit tougher. Our summer crops still need some warmth to fully mature. Tomatoes are starting to ripen and we anticipate their availability to continue for quite a few weeks. There are a lot of cherry tomatoes being picked right now and heirlooms and slicers should follow in good numbers shortly. Summer squash continues to produce, while cucumber production is falling off a bit. Okra should become available next week or the next. We are closely watching several plantings of green beans and these should be ready for harvest in the next few weeks. Greens, cooking and salad continue to be harvested.
Continuing on a bit with fall. New this year, we are offering a Fall CSA share. The fall share will begin in October, right after our summer season ends, and will run for 8 additional weeks. Many of our Summer CSA members have already signed up for our fall season and we thank each of you for your support. We do still have memberships available and you do not need to be a member of our Summer CSA to sign up for Fall deliveries. Please visit our website or contact the farm for additional information.
Boxes, yep, boxes again! Please return your share boxes! As I have said in the past, these boxes cost the farm between 1 and 2 dollars each. This cost adds up quickly, considering we have 100 CSA members. In the beginning of the season we generally budget 2 to 3 boxes per member, but this budgeting is based on members returning their boxes for re-use. Unfortunately, this year, we are needing to go to the produce supply house on a regular basis and purchase boxes. Please help us out and if you have share boxes at your house, return them to your drop site so we can pick them up.
Our kitchen is still in summer mode. Grilled meats and veggies continue to be the theme for most farm dinners. With tomatoes coming on, they are taking a more prominent role in meals. Grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches are always a favorite, as are BLT's. I do like to roast cherry tomatoes. The roasting really intensifies the flavor. Cherry tomatoes can be placed in a shallow roasting dish, along with salt, garlic and perhaps a few herbs. Stir to combine the ingredients and roast in a hot oven until the tomatoes are soft and their skin is bursting. These tomatoes can be served as a side dish, as a pasta sauce or as a topping for a toasted baguette. Or, half way through the roasting, add salmon or chicken to the pan. Spoon some of the tomatoes and their juice over the meat, turn down the oven and continue to roast until the meat reaches the desired temperature.
This week we said "good bye" to one of our summer workers, Blyss. Thank you Blyss, for your positive attitude, hard work and dedication to the farm this summer! Blyss will not be helping on farm, but she will still be helping out at the Back Mountain Farmers Market. If you see Blyss at market, be sure to thank her for helping us grow your food this season.
The sun is now up, the temperature has warmed a bit and farm is buzzing with activity. Time to say "good bye" until next week.