Thursday, September 14, 2017

Week 13 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm.   This is Week 13 of our Summer/Main Season CSA.  Hopefully all our CSA members are enjoying their boxes.   Week 13 is an egg week.  There are 5 weeks remaining in our Summer CSA.   Next week, Week 14 is a chicken week.

And speaking of chicken.   We are happy to announce we will have a limited amount of chicken available at markets this weekend.  We will be at the Back Mountain Memorial Library market on Saturday.  This market is located at the Dallas Elementary School and is open from 9 to 2.  On Sunday, from 9 to 1,  we will be at the Mountain Top Farmers Market at Crestwood High School.   And speaking of markets.  Farmer Phil is back from vacation and will again have "Farmer Phil's produce" for sale at the Back Mountain Market. 
On farm, our harvest is slowly turning from summer crops to fall and winter crops.
First summer crops.  Our field grown tomatoes are coming to an end and will be available in only limited numbers from here on out.  The exception to this is sungold cherry tomatoes.  We have a nice bed of sungolds in our greenhouse which should continue to produce a fairly good supply of sungolds for a number of weeks.  Tomatillos should be available until frost kills the plants.  With warmer temperatures predicted this week, we are hopeful for a small, late season, harvest of cucumbers.  These vines have fruit on them and just need to size up a bit.  Likewise, we have a planting of a variety of summer squash we are still hoping to harvest from.  We had two large beds of purple, yellow and dragon beans planted, the plants were beautiful and were flowering and starting to set small beans.  Then, last week we noticed the plants looked a little odd.  With closer examination, we discovered deer had been in both beds and eaten the tops off of virtually all the plants.  Farmer Don has not given up these plants, but I fear we do not have enough frost free days for them to recover and produce beans.  The deer also ate several beds of sunflowers, so sunflowers will also only be available in limited quantities.  Can you tell deer are not our favorite animals on farm?  The other morning they were camped out in our yard eating fallen crab apples! 
And now cooler season crops.  Greens are looking good and you can expect greens to be in abundance for the remainder of the season.  We are harvesting baby mustard and turnip greens right now.  These greens are absolutely beautiful and are young and tender, requiring very little cooking.  Kale and Swiss Chard will continue to be available.  Salad greens will also continue to be harvested.  We are also harvesting some nice arugula right now, along with broccoli rabe.  Asian greens are planted and should be ready to soon. With so many greens being harvested, Farmer Don asked me to tell everyone about a book we use frequently for greens (Greens Glorious Greens by Johanna Albi and Catherine Walthers).   This book features 35 different greens, providing not only  recipes for each, but nutritional information, storage, and preparation information, as well.  We find the recipes fairly easy, but delicious!
More cooler season crops.  Winter squash is slowly starting to come in and Farmer Don will make the varieties available as they are harvested.  Carrots and Cabbage should also continue to be available, along with potatoes and onions.  We have been in touch with our neighbors for certified organic sweet potatoes and they are starting to harvest now.  Sweets like hot weather, so this cooler summer is making yields a bit less than in years past.  We have more salad radishes planted and hopefully they will mature and be ready for harvest before the end of the season.  Rutabaga, storage/winter radishes and turnips are planted and we are awaiting them to size up a bit before harvest.
As long as we are talking about cooler season crops, let me again mention that this year we are offering a limited number of fall/winter shares.  The fall/winter season will run for 8 weeks immediately following our summer season.  Egg shares are also available for purchase during our fall season.  Please note, we reserve your share when we receive payment.  Thanks to everyone who has already signed up!
In the kitchen, we continue to cook based on what we are harvesting.  Recently, I was looking for a  new recipe using tomatillos and I came across this Tomatillo soup recipe.  (  Farmer Don gave it a thumbs up, which means I can make it again.  I substituted our own spicy sausage for the chorizo, skipped the cheese and used all chicken stock, as Farmer Don was reluctant  to sacrifice one of his beers.  We also continue to eat around tomatoes - with BLT's and grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches being a stable in our diet this time of year. 
So, I started this newsletter late last night and now it is early morning.  Time to wrap things up and move on to the next task. 
Have a great week!

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