Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas Buying Club

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Yes, you can still get Dancing Hen Farm items for your Christmas Dinner!  Farmer Don will be doing deliveries this weekend.  Ordering is open and will close tomorrow, Thursday 12/20, at 5 am.  Deliveries will be Friday or Saturday, depending on your pick up site.  We continue to have storage crops available, pastured chicken, apple orchard pork and a limited supply of eggs available.

Speaking of eggs, we are trying our best to get eggs to people on a first come, first serve basis.  Unfortunately, the cooler temperatures and shorter days mean our chickens are laying fewer eggs and our eggs supply is limited.  Some farmers will put a light in their chicken coop to keep their chickens laying eggs by making birds believe the days are longer.  We do not do this, preferring to allow our chickens to stay in sync with Mother Nature.  This means fewer eggs during the winter months, so fewer eggs this time of year for everyone's holiday baking needs.

The farm is in holiday mode!  We are decorated.  The wreath has been hung on the barn (Thanks Jason!) The Christmas tree is up, as are our other decorations and outside lights.  Farmer Don is in cookie mode.  Farmer Don's favorite snack is chocolate chip cookies and a milkshake.  This time of year he gets out the stand mixer and makes cookies.  As I mentioned previously he likes to use the recipe from Cook's Illustrated, but he also has a recipe for Chocolate Chip Kale cookies.  The kale cookies are not nearly as complicated to make as the Cook's Illustrated ones and we get to pretend they are healthy because they have kale and oats in them.  I think Farmer Don would prefer not to have kale or oats in his cookies, but I think I actually prefer the flavor of the kale cookies. 

I don't even want to talk about the weather.  It is winter, so it is cold and cloudy!  Friday is the first day of winter, but the first day of winter is also the Winter Solstice.  The Winter Solstice is also the shortest day of the year, with days getting gradually longer after Friday.  Another interesting fact is that the full cold moon is on the 22nd this December, very close to Friday, the 21st.  A full moon coinciding with the solstice is a rare event, so it is exciting to have a full moon so close to the shortest day.  It may be hard to enjoy the full moon, as the skies are to be cloudy, but we will turn our eyes to the night sky nonetheless.

As I mentioned last week, we are busy making plans for next year.  Please watch your email for some new and exciting changes coming your way. 

And, as always, a huge thank you to each of you for your support of our farm.  Without our farm friends and members, we would not be able to sustainable produce on the rocky hillside we call Dancing Hen Farm.

We at Dancing Hen Farm want to wish everyone a Festive and Happy Holiday Season.  Take some time to enjoy the magic of this season and as always, don't forget to count your blessings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Newsletter and Buying Club Open

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

We will be delivering Buying Club orders this weekend.  Ordering is not open and will close Thursday (12/13) morning.  Availability includes eggs, pastured chicken, apple orchard pork and storage vegetables.

It was so nice to have sunshine for a few days this week.  The sun always helps to bring a smile on a winter day!  I know this part of the country is not known for sunny days, but it seems we have really had your share of clouds this year, so the sun has been very welcome!  Warmer temperatures, but rain over the weekend, so more clouds on the way.  But, in about a week and half we will be celebrating the Winter Solstice and then the days will begin to get longer.  Slowly getting longer, but longer none the less!  Seems strange to be talking about longer days when there are still so many winter filled days ahead of us.

Farmer Don has been busy with the "wood stove shuffle" recently.  He replaced a large (homemade?) wood stove from our main nursery greenhouse with a much more efficient air tight wood stove.  This air tight stove will allow us to keep a fire burning for longer periods of time and also use less wood.  Hopefully we can avoid our transplant freeze out from occurring again this year.  But, I fear the dance of the wood stoves has just begun, for now Farmer Don is convinced the stove in the greenhouse is better than the one in the house! 

We have started to make some tentative plans for our 2019 season and the word of the year will be "change".  We are excited to be implementing a new marketing and business plan for our farm.  And we want to thank everyone in advance for their continued support.  Watch social media and your email for announcements concerning the 2019 season.  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead.

With less than 12 hours to get your buying club orders in, I need to end this newsletter and get it into the email stream! 

We wish you a peace filled holiday season!  Be safe, be happy and count your blessings.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Buying Club this weekend!

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Yes, we will be delivering for buying club this weekend.  Ordering is now open and will close early Thursday morning.  Deliveries will be Friday (12/7) and Saturday (12/8) depending on your pick up location.  Look for a good supply of Dancing Hen Farm Apple Orchard pork, pastured chicken, eggs and storage crops (potatoes, beets, carrots, etc).  We also have a very limited supply of salad greens and baby salad turnips.  More information about our winter buying club can be found on our website ( or by contacting us at the farm. 

The farm has most definitely made the transition into winter.  The snow and very cold temperatures a few weeks brought an end to most of our crops.  Even the plantings in our unheated greenhouse did not respond well to the cold temperatures.  But, as a fellow farmer once told Farmer Don:  "we aren't supposed to grow vegetables in the winter in Pennsylvania".

Speaking of snow -- the heavy wet snow several weeks ago, almost also brought an end to our chickens.  During the storm one of our coops collapsed.  Farmer Don was out at 2 am trying to rescue chickens and salvage the structure.  This was our "summer" chicken house, so it really was never built to withstand snow.  Generally we move all the chickens into a more sturdy coop for winter and the summer coop is partially dismantled prior to the first major snow.  We are lucky to have not lost any chickens.  Farmer Don was happy to report that most of the birds had already moved into the other coop by the time he realized there was a problem went to their rescue.

Farmer Don has been very busy in the kitchen lately.  He has been pouring over past issues of Cooks Illustrated to make everything from the perfect turkey to the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  And to think for years turkeys have been roasted at 325 until done and chocolate chip cookies were made following the recipe on the back of the bag!  But, no, Farmer Don's turkey was brined and rested and even flipped during the roasting time!  And his cookies involved browning the butter, rather than simply creaming it and as with the turkey there were several times when the cookie batter rested.   But, I have to admit, the turkey was delicious, very juicy, tender and flavorful.  And as the recipe promised, the cookies were tasty and have remained soft and chewy.  So the next time I make cookies, will you find me browning butter and resting batter?  No, you will probably find me smoothing the wrinkles out of the bag, so I can read the recipe better!  But, I have no problem eating all the food which flows from the kitchen when Farmer Don wears the chef hat!

Ok, it is getting late, the dogs need a walk and I need to get ready for bed.  I will bid you all good night!
May this holiday season find each of your safe, healthy and happy. 

Thanks again to each of you for your continued support of our small family farm.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Buying Club Open

Greetings from a chilly Dancing Hen Farm!

Buying club ordering is now open.  Ordering closes tomorrow, Thursday, at 5 am, with deliveries this weekend.  Deliveries will be Friday night to Bloomsburg and Saturday to Dallas (10 to 10:30), Forty Fort (11 to 11:30) and Mountain Top (12 to 12:30).  On farm pick-ups will be available anytime after 2 pm on Friday.

Buying club availability includes a good supply of 2018 Dancing Hen Farm Apple Orchard Pork, including bacon and pork chops.  We also have Dancing Hen Farm pastured chicken (halves and wholes) and eggs available.  Our chicken remains very popular and we do not anticipate our supply to last through the winter, so you may want to consider ordering some now, if you have freezer space.  We also have limited amounts of fresh cooking and salad greens and storage crops available.

I just realized this is our last Buying Club delivery before Thanksgiving, so you may want to stock up on some items for the holiday feast!  This year Farmer Don raised a few turkeys on farm.  A first for Farmer Don and a first for our farm.  The turkeys have been fun to watch.  They think Farmer Don is the "leader of the band" and follow him around.  The turkeys have a strange awkward, but almost graceful way of moving.  I like to say they look like dinosaur ballerinas. 

Time to move on to the next task.  Maybe next week's newsletter will be a bit longer?  Until then:  Be safe, be well and don't forget to count your blessings.


Monday, November 5, 2018

CSA Week 20 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

This is Week 20, the final week of our 2018 CSA.  Week 20 boxes will be delivered tomorrow, November 6th.  Week 20 is not an egg week.  After this week's delivery, we will be transitioning to our winter buying club. 

It seems only fitting that we started and now end our 2018 season with a very wet harvest and pack.  And what better way to end our season but with a word of thanks.

First "Thank You" to all our farm helpers.  These individuals show up no matter the weather or the task and give us their all to keep our farm going and our CSA boxes filled.  So Thank You, Phil, Annie, Stacy, Lori, Ken, Nancy and Joyce.
Here is to each of these workers:

As you know from last week's newsletter, Phil works Mondays in our pack house and also helps at market and helps with deliveries.  Annie is a long time friend of both Farmer Don's and mine.  Annie has been our "jack of all trades" this season.  Each week she and her Golden Retriever companion, Bella, spend a night or two sleeping on our floor and working on farm.  Annie faithfully works, harvesting, packing and diligently completing any task Farmer Don finds for her to do, even when he hides the tools.  Stacy is one of our work share workers and is our ace chicken catcher.  When not catching chickens, Stacy can be found harvesting and tending our field crops.  Lori works "second shift" here on farm.  She arrives late in the afternoon on Monday and works into the night packing CSA boxes for Tuesday's deliveries.  Ken is another work share and worked early season.  When not weed wacking, Ken can be found preparing and planting fields.  Nancy is our delivery driver.  She arrives early Tuesday morning and she and Phil spend  the day distributing boxes to our CSA members.  Nancy also does flower bouquets for sale at our farm markets.  Joyce is a true friend of the farm, volunteering most every Monday to help with harvest.  She works through the bugs and the heat, without complaint, even when Farmer Don assigns her scallions to harvest each week.

I also want to thank our site hosts.  These individuals voluntarily offer us space in their businesses or homes for our use.  These drops sites are integral in getting CSA boxes to our customers.  So, thank you to Chris and Meredith, Stephanie, Bloom Naturally, Guy, The Whole Life Center for Health, Gwen, Crestwood Pharmacy,  and Balance Yoga.
If you see any of these individuals, please thank them for all of their hard work.

I also want to, again, thank each of you.  Thank you for your support of our small family farm.  Thank you for your support of the local economy and local sustainable agriculture.  Without you, our members and friends of the farm, we would not be able to what we do. 

Now some logistics for this final week and our upcoming buying club deliveries.

Boxes.  Please return your boxes to your pick up site.  Farmer Don will be out and about to pick the final boxes up once the season is over.
Buying Club:  We will be delivering buying club orders this weekend.  Buying club ordering opens Tuesday morning and ends Thursday morning.  We will have 2018 Apple Orchard Pork and pastured chicken available.  We will also have a limited supply of eggs, greens and storage crops available.  To participate in this buying club you will need to "purchase" a free buying club membership.  Please note there will be a delay in purchasing a membership and when you can place orders, as your account will need to be activated.  Watch for a separate email to buying club members detailing this week's ordering.  If you have questions concerning the buying club, please do not hesitate to contact us at the farm.

As summer fades into fall and fall fades into winter, so does our 2018 season fade away.  Time for rest, reflection and rejuvenation.

"and we bid you, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Week 19 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm.

Our CSA is winding down.  Week 19 boxes will be delivered tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30.  After tomorrow's delivery there is one week remaining in our CSA.  Week 19 is an egg week.

Today is harvest and pack day on farm.  Always a busy day!  Most of the day is spent harvesting and portioning items for our CSA boxes.  Then the late afternoon and evening is spent custom packing each box.  The past few weeks we have been behind schedule a bit; as we have been missing our main pack house guru, Phil.  Phil had been visiting his brother Virginia.  Those of you who frequent the Dallas Market know Phil, as he is also Farmer Don's assistant at market.  On Monday's Phil spends the day weighing and portioning most of our harvest.   A HUGE job!  and a job Phil excels at!  When he is missing on Monday, all of us are behind schedule.  Phil also helps with deliveries and buying club, so if you see Phil out and about, please be sure to thank him for his help.

With the CSA coming to an end, our marketing will soon shift into buying club mode.  We have 2018 Dancing Hen Farm Apple Orchard Pork and Pastured Chickens available now for CSA members.  In the next few weeks we will start up the winter buying club.  Watch your email for the announcement of our first delivery.  In the meantime, if you have not already done so, please go to our website and sign up for our winter buying club.  You will need to register with our site and "purchase" a free buying club membership.  We can then activate your account so you will be able to place an order once ordering is open for a delivery date.  If you have questions about our winter buying club, please do not hesitate to contact us.

As our season winds down, life here at Dancing Hen Farm takes on a different rhythm.  We continue to have animal chores and will continue to have some greens growing, but in general life slows a bit.  In the kitchen cooking slows as we make more soups, stews and roasts; things which warm the house and soul.  Our discussions tend to drift to reflection.  Reflection on the past growing season and the past year.  Soon we will put pencil to paper and begin our plans for next year and plan for the renewal of spring after a healing winter.

Time to move on to the next task.  Thanks again for your support and in Farmer Don's words "be safe, be well and enjoy the veggies".

Thursday, October 18, 2018

CSA Week 18 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

It seems like forever since I have written a newsletter!  I diligently started one most every week, but never got them finished.  So here goes - another try.

CSA Members:  Boxes delivered on Tuesday were Week 17.  Week 17 was an egg week.  Ordering is not open for Week 18.  Week 18 is not an egg week.  After Tuesday's (10/23) delivery of Week 18 boxes, there are 2 weeks remaining in our 2018 CSA season.  


After several false starts, I think we can finally say Fall is here.  Today was windy and chilly and we have had a spotty, but hard frost in our fields.  This means our summer growing season has ended.  We did harvest some crops in anticipation of frost and those crops may remain available in limited numbers.  We do still have greens to harvest and storage crops available.  

Fall on our farm is a time for movement and transition.  In the past few weeks our animals have been on the move.  First Farmer Don "ran the pigs".  Each year we celebrate moving our pigs from the hill behind our greenhouse to our barn with an event we have named "the running of the pigs".  In the past this has been a community event with help coming from friends and neighbors.  This year Farmer Don decided to move the pigs himself and much to my surprise he led them to the barn with little fanfare.  So, our annual event may become "Framer Don's stroll with the pigs".  Stay tuned to see how next year's stroll goes!  

We also moved our turkeys onto grass.  These turkeys are Farmer Don's pet project.  This is our first attempt at raising turkeys and he is having quite the time nurturing them and trying to figure out their behavior.  We have raised chickens for a number of years and have gotten used to how chickens respond to things and in all honesty we thought the turkeys would just be larger chickens and in some ways they are.  But in other ways they are quite different.  For instance, the turkeys are very quiet and not as flighty as the chickens.  Chickens tend to run and scamper and squawk, but for the most part turkeys move more slowly and quietly.  We will have to let you know how our turkeys finish and they may become an annual project.  Not sure we will raise more than "for family", but only time will tell.

A couple of weeks ago Farmers Don, Phil and Joyce took some time off farm for some entertainment.  They hopped on a charter bus in Buckhorn destined for State College to see the Penn State Ohio State football game.  From what I hear they walked all over the parking area, saw some trophies and the band, met up with some old friends and unfortunately saw Penn State lose the game.  This is the second Penn State Ohio State game Farmers Don and Phil have been to and Penn State lost both games.  I don't want to say, but maybe our farmers are not bringing the Lions any luck?  

With our CSA coming to an end, I want to take a few minutes to talk about our Winter Buying Club.  The Winter Buying Club is a program we initially started to extend our season.  This is separate from our CSA buying club.  There is no fee to join the Winter Buying Club and it is a pay as you go system.  You will place an order, like you do for your CSA box.  Then you will meet us at a designated time and location to receive your order.  You make payment when you pick up your order.  Deliveries are Friday night to Bloomsburg, Saturday mornings to Back Mountain and Mountain Top and anytime after 4 on Fridays on farm.  You will need to log onto our website and "purchase" a free Winter Buying Club membership.  Please watch emails for when our buying club will start this season.

Well, the time is getting late and I need to send the dogs out for one last walk.  So, I will say, until next week.  Be safe, be well and enjoy your veggies.  And don't forget to count your blessings.

Farmers Day Off

Saturday, September 22, 2018

CSA Week 13 Newletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

We hope everyone enjoyed their Week 13 boxes.  Ordering is now underway for Week 14 of our CSA.  After Tuesday's delivery, there are 6 weeks remaining in the CSA.  Week 14 is not an egg week.

With the fall equinox knocking on our door, today really feels like fall has arrived.  Cool and cloudy, just what the vegetable diseases ordered!  Every night the local news media seems to be interviewing another farmer who is talking about crop loss due to this year's challenging weather.  I notice the pumpkin fields near us are being harvested, but the plants are near dead from mildew.  This grower is bringing in a harvest, but from the looks of the plants and pumpkins, his harvest is most definitely smaller than he anticipated.  These are the same fields I watched being aerial sprayed with fungicides earlier in the summer.  Watching fields being sprayed by a helicopter is quite a sight and actually a bit scary!  These fields have a power line running down middle.  The pilot would swoop over the field and release the spray.  As he approached the power line, he would abruptly turn the helicopter what seemed to be straight, nose up and pop over the line, only to level it out on the other side.  Not only was this maneuver scary, but also the fact that these fields were being sprayed in the middle of the day, beside a busy road and very near houses with laundry hanging on the line and possibly even children playing in the yard!  I remember doing field work for the University of Florida, too many years ago to admit.  Our research plots were on large commercial farms and these growers utilized aerial application for most of their pesticide applications.  The pilots of these planes and helicopters would do a fly over the fields to look for workers and if they spotted anyone in the field, they would continue to circle, getting quite low over our heads, until we left the area.  It was nice to be warned, although a bit unnerving to have a plane or helicopter buzzing you so closely!  In our fields, thankfully, we don't have to worry about being chased out of the fields by aerial applicators! 

As with every year, our fields are a mix of some crops coming to an end and others growing nicely.  , Most of the summer crops have succumbed to disease and weeds.  But we have worked hard to get some plantings of greens going and they are looking good!!  Watch for these greens to become available in the next few weeks.  Mixed baby Asian greens should be available first, followed closely by some arugula.  The Asian greens will be young and tender and therefore can be eaten raw as a salad or lightly sauted or stir fried.  Winter squash varieties continue to be harvested.  Storage crops, including carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cabbage, should continue to be available through the end of the season.

In our kitchen, last night, we most likely had the last of summer time staple, BLT's.  Although we had to modify the recipe a bit and make BKT's, substituting kale for lettuce. Those of you who know Farmer Phil know that his BLTs are made with bacon, lettuce and toast, as he does not like tomatoes.  He calls the sandwiches with tomato, BLTTs.  So I am thinking, according to Farmer Phil, we had BKTT's for dinner! 

Last week's newsletter talked about counting your blessings.  I do try to spend some time each day counting my blessings and during one of these meditations, I realized I forgot a huge blessing for our farm.  That blessing, is our CSA members and farm friends.  We are so blessed to have a great group of people who support us and our farm.  As I have said in the past, it is you, our community, who keeps up growing.

The clock is telling me Farmer Don will be home from market soon so I will end here.  Have a great week, enjoy the veggies and don't forget to count your blessings.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Week 12 CSA Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!!

We hope everyone is enjoying their Week 12 boxes.  Week 12 was not an egg week.  Ordering for Week 13 is now underway and will end Sunday at 6 pm.  Week 13 will be a CHICKEN WEEK.  So, if you purchased a chicken share, please be sure to pick up your chicken with your vegetables next Tuesday.  After next Tuesday's Week 13 delivery, there are 7 weeks remaining in our CSA.

Rain!  Yep it is still raining!  But, as I have said before, time to count our blessings.  Sitting here watching the news coverage of the hurricane and my heart is breaking!  So thankful we are measuring our rain in inches and not in feet, like our friends to the south!  So thankful we are spending this evening in our home and not evacuating.  So thankful we are losing our tomatoes and not our home to the rain and storms.  I could go on...

In the fields, we are muddy!  And yes our tomatoes, unfortunately, are about done for the season, succumbing to disease brought on by this wet weather.  We still have some nice looking green cherry tomatoes on the vine and hopefully this weekend's dry sun will ripen them and keep them from splitting.  Snap beans are also a victim of the rain and are most likely done for the season, but our flat Italian beans are looking good.  Ground cherries are coming on strong.   As summer squash starts to slow a bit, we now have some winter squash available.  Our newly planted greens are up and growing and should be available soon.  We have started to harvest eggplant and hopefully, with a bit of luck, they should be available in greater numbers.

We have a few new additions on farm.  20 turkeys!  A spur of the moment decision, found Farmer Don ordering some turkey poults as an on farm experiment.  We have been raising pastured chickens for quite a while, but this is our first attempt at turkeys.  Right now the baby turkeys are in our barn under a heat lamp, but will eventually move to the field once they get a bit larger and have a few more feathers.  Stay tuned for, what I am sure will be some turkey adventures.  Let's hope the stories don't involve Rosie chasing turkeys around the farm.

The golden rod is blooming, the days are shorter and leaves are changing a bit.  Which means soup season has begun!  Farmer Don spent some time in the kitchen this week making two of my favorites, potato leek soup and a floating biscuit chili/stew.  The leeks were courtesy of Farmer Phil and the soup paired perfectly with grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.  The chili was recipe found in Shannon Hayes' The Grassfed Gourmet.  I would recommend this book to anyone cooking/eating grassfed meats.  Shannon Hayes is a grass farmer, homemaker and homeschooler in New York State and is one of my favorite authors, bloggers and speakers.  Her website is

I need to wrap this up, as Farmer Don is ringing the dinner bell.  Tacos tonight made with Dancing Hen Farm ground pork.
Thanks, as always, for your support of our small family farm.  And remember to count your blessings.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

2018 CSA - Halfway notes from the Farmer

2018 CSA - Halfway notes from the Farmer
Fri, 31 Aug 2018
Hi Friends,
I'm taking a few minutes out of my market harvest day to share my thoughts with you as we move into the second half of our CSA season.
Number one, I want to thank everyone for all the support, thoughts and prayers sent our way as we worked to provide you with the first half harvest of what has been easily our most challenging season to date.
Number two, I want to reassure everyone we are working hard to have a successful second half of the season. (If Mother Nature will abide) As you all know we share the risk with you when it comes to sharing our harvest. We always do our best to provide you with the freshest, most nutritious vegetables we can, as well as animals raised in a natural environment. This past Tuesday, with the heat index well above 100 degrees , we seeded fall crops for future harvest. Today, I'm excited to see the damp conditions which will really help with germination. Our tomatoes, squash, cantalope and winter squash have all been affected by mildew. I'm hoping we will be able to harvest fruit prior to the plants' demise. The fruit on the vines look good, so I'm thinking a harvest will happen and continue. Lot's of okra coming on, so get ready for that. Also, my apologies to folks last week for the over call on tomatillos. I got excited to see the fruit, but most of the tommys hadn't filled the husk. But we do have lots to come, so get those salsa verde recipes out. Beans this year have been tough with the weather, but we do have a planting of Italian pole beans which look really nice. Maybe a week or two out. I really like our slicing tomatoes this year, nice round red tomatoes, Sorry to say though that our heirloom tomatoes got wiped out before they even had a chance to get going. We lost over 500 plants over night, the day after planting, to some sort of varmit. My spirit was broken seeing that, with no chance to replant as the timing would not work. But, as we always have we move on, can't dwell on the past. Play the hand you're dealt. Unfortunately you guys are along for the ride.
This week we have been contacted by some very disappointed members. We know the first half has been a struggle and again we are working hard to have a great second half. I will put it out there that if you are unhappy with your share, contact us. We'll do all we can to make right for you. Keep in mind we have ten more weeks of deliveries. Maybe September will turn out to be a beautiful month, that's what I'm feeling as we gear up for the fall.
So, time to wrap up and continue harvest. I'll jump off my soap box with one last thought that I always go back to and that is community. We are the Dancing Hen Farm community through thick and thin. We help each other in times of need, and right now support is what we need. Many, many folks have been affected much worse than us, but we;re feeling the struggle also. Give us your patience and understanding and your support will be rewarded. After this first half of the season, there's nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile....
Be well friends,
Farmer Don

Sunday, August 26, 2018

CSA Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!  "Summertime and the living is easy".

CSA members:  Ordering for Tuesday's boxes ends tonight at 6 pm.  This is not an egg week.  We have reached the half way point of our CSA.

First let me apologize for being late getting the week's newsletter out.  I have no real excuse other than life.  Sometimes life seems to make the days fly by and other times one day seems like eternity.
Speaking of flying by.  Can you believe September is knocking on our door?  Schools are starting.  I am seeing lots of golden rod blooming.  The bees are aggressively looking for food.  The days are getting shorter and the mornings cooler.  Yes, fall is coming.  Soon we will pack away our shorts and get out the fleece and sweaters. 

Not ready for fall, not a problems here on farm.  We are still in summer harvest mode.  September tends to be one of our busiest months for harvest.  Summer crops, like zucchini, tomatoes and peppers are still producing well and by the end of the month fall greens and winter squash will be going strong.  Right now, other than crazy weed pressure, our farm is looking fairly good.  Tomatoes are producing nicely, although our plants are showing some disease.  We are harvesting off our last planting of summer squash.  The flat Italian pole beans are growing well and beginning to set tiny beans.  We have started harvesting peppers, okra and tomatillos.  Asian greens are being harvested and other greens are in the ground and we are patiently waiting for them to size up for harvest.

Not ready for fall, take 2.  It seems our weather is also not ready for fall.  The forecast is for hot muggies to return this week.  Highs in the 90's again!  Hopefully the return of the humidity will not bring the never ending rain we had a few weeks ago.  As everyone knows, the Benton area had devastating flooding and more soaking rains are very unwanted right now.  People are still out of their homes due to the water and many, many roads are closed and will most likely remain closed for quite some time.  Seeing the rocks, debris and destruction left behind by the flood waters really puts in perspective the force of this water.  Again, here, at Dancing Hen Farm, we consider ourselves quite lucky.  Other than a washed out road and having to detour a bit to come and go, we have little or no lasting damage.

This week Farmer Don found a surprise in the fields.  On Thursday he went out to harvest a vegetable for our supper and to do a final look at some plots before choice for our CSA members opened up.  And he found Brussels sprouts!  Yep, he came in with a small basket of sprouts for our dinner.  This was a huge find and surprise.  Our Brussels Sprouts were in a plot which was heavily damaged by deer this season.  The deer had actually walked down the row and eaten the top out of every plant.  But, it seems the deer did us a favor.  Something many grower do when growing Brussels Sprouts is to top the plants, or pinch the top, actively growing, part of each plant.  This topping forces the plant to form the round shoots we know as Brussels Sprouts.  So, in reality, we should be thanking, rather than cursing our deer population.  "Thank you deer for helping us grow a nice crop of Brussels Sprouts".  And yes, with some luck, we should have Brussels Sprouts on our choice list in the next few weeks, so get the recipes ready.

Let's see.  The wash is now hanging on the line, my coffee cup is empty and it is lunch time.  I am thinking this is a good time to wrap up the newsletter.

As always, thanks to each of you for your support of our small family farm and local sustainable farms.  Enjoy the veggies and have a great week.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

CSA Week 10 Newsletter

Greetings from soggy Dancing Hen Farm

First some information for our CSA members.  You will need to log on and pick items for Tuesday's box, since last week's picks are no longer valid.  This week will be an egg week and a CHICKEN week.  If you are getting a chicken share, please remember to look for a cooler at your drop site.  Your chicken will be inside the cooler.  Since we canceled last week's delivery, we will add one week to the end of our season to make up for this lost week.  Thank you for your understanding and patience with all of this.

So, I have decided this is the summer it rained, and rained and rained and rained and rained.....  And then it seem to rain again! 

Last Monday these rains were concentrated over our immediate area.  Flash floods raged through fields, yards, houses, and roads and eventually emptied into the Fishing Creek.  The creek then engulfed the town of Benton and charged on towards Bloomsburg.  Anything in the water's path was destroyed and swept along.  Driving around seeing the wide spread destruction and the force this water moved with is unbelievable.  Farmer Don and I feel quite blessed.  We did have a large volume of water running through the farm.  We do have some washouts on farm and on our road, got some water in our basement and lost our power, but compared to some areas, we have little to no lasting damage. 

To all our friends and neighbors dealing with flood waters, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers!  More showers are forecast for the next few days.  Let's hope they don't pack quite the inches of rain these last showers did.

Our fields are wet, very wet, but again we are blessed.  This time blessed to be farming rocky soil on a slope, so most of our fields dry out relatively quickly.  However all this rain, has brought us one of our most challenging growing seasons.  We have had problems getting into our fields to get things planted and once planted crops are not maturing as expected.  The weeds, however, are flourishing!  We are trying our best to get items to you.  We are harvesting some tomatoes right now and should continue to harvest until almost frost, as long as moisture loving diseases don't kill our plants.  Eggplant, peppers and okra are flowering and hopefully will set fruit soon.  Lettuce is growing slowly, as are cooking greens.  Speaking of greens, new this week are limited quantities of Asian greens, including bok choy.  We continue to harvest summer squash and our new planting of squash is coming along nicely.  Believe it or not we are still harvesting some cucumbers!  Beans are starting to mature, including green snap beans, wax beans and flat Dragon beans. 

Remember if you do not choose items for your weekly share, you will still receive a box, a farmer's choice box.  Farmer's choice boxes are sometimes a good bet if you find most of items are "sold out" on our pick list.  Farmer's choice boxes will receive some of our staples (potatoes, onions, etc), but may also includes items just starting to ripen, which are hard for Farmer Don to forecast harvest numbers for.  Farmer's Choice boxes may also include items which were available in greater numbers than Farmer Don predicted.  For instance, we may have more cherry tomatoes ready for harvest than anticipated.  You can also pick some of your items and allow Farmer Don to pick the rest when he packs your box.

Our kitchen has been quiet again, as most of Farmer Don's free time is spent dealing with opportunities as they arise on farm and I am still getting my strength back.  We have started some of our summer time  favorite traditions, including BLT's and Farmer Don's fresh pico de gallo.  Also, each weekend we cook chicken, which easily feeds us for 2, if not 3 meals.  This week we topped some pasta with leftover chicken combined with a quick sauce of sungolds and garlic.  I really like to either roast or quickly pan fry cherry tomatoes.  The quick heat, really intensifies their flavor!

Speaking of dinner and favorites, Farmer Don and the dogs just came in from the heat and tonight we are having BLT's, so I need to get the bacon cooking!

Until next week.  Be safe, be well, enjoy those veggies and don't forget to count your blessings.

Monday, August 13, 2018

CSA And Flooding

Hi Friends,
Due to extreme flooding today (Monday, Aug. 13th) on and around the farm, and loss of power, we have decided to cancel this week's deliveries. We will add an extra week to the end of the season to fill our 20 week season. Check out the local news networks to see some of the damage in our local area, Benton. Keep our neighbors in your prayers and well wishes as we know many folks are in a lot worse shape than we are.
Thank you for your understanding, be well, and send us some sunshine.
A soggy Farmer Don

Friday, August 10, 2018

Newsletter -- Week 9

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Welcome to Week 9 of our CSA.  Week 9 ordering is well under way and will end on Sunday at 6 pm.  Week 9 is an egg week and a CHICKEN WEEK.  If you ordered a chicken share, please check for a cooler at your drop site.  Your chicken will be in the cooler.

On farm, we are still dealing with rain showers, almost every day, although I do think yesterday and today have been dry for us.  I should say, "yet", as the sky is looking pretty dark and threatening right now!  It looks like this weather pattern is to stay with us for the next week or so.  We are hoping the clouds part sometime over the weekend so we can head out to the yard and get a glimpse of the Perseid Meteor Showers.  With a new moon on the Saturday and the showers peaking Sunday night into Monday, this should be a good weekend for viewing.  Let's hope for some cloudless skies!

In the fields right now the word is tomatoes.  We have quite a few nice red slicing tomatoes starting to ripen.  Cherry tomatoes should continue to be available.  Heirloom tomatoes may be in limited supply this year.  Early in the spring, we lost over 500 heirloom transplants to either cutworms or a field vole.  We never spotted the culprit, so we aren't positive what mowed down the plants in one night!  Asian greens are looking good and should be back on the availability list soon.  Okra is starting to set fruit, despite being a favorite food of Japanese Beetles.  Eggplants are flowering and with continued luck we should have some fruit in several weeks. 

It is never a dull moment here on Dancing Hen Farm.  Each fall, I generally talk about "the running of the pigs", when we move the pigs down from the apple orchard to the barn.  Well this week our pigs decided to do some running of their own.  Of course, they picked the one day Farmer Don and I were both off farm to go for their run.  Luckily, Ann was here doing chores and watching the farm.  When she went up to feed and water the pigs, she noticed the fence was down and more than half our pigs were missing/gone.  She was able to capture one escapee and put her back inside the fence, but the others were nowhere in sight.  She called in help from my sister and brother-in-law and the three of them proceeded to search for the pigs, finding no pigs and no signs of them.  It's kind of hard for six 125 to 150 pound pigs to hide, but somehow it seemed they disappeared!  When Farmer Don and I got home, he sent everyone else home and took the dogs up to look for pigs.  I could hear him up there, beating on a bucket and calling "here pig, here pigger".  My hopes of him finding the pigs were low.  I had nightmarish visions of them eating all our neighbor's sweet corn, running wildly through the nearby campground or never being found and Dancing Hen Farm being responsible for a new feral pig colony.  But, Farmer Don can now be called a "pig whisperer".  He came down several hours later and told me "the pigs are in".  "What!!!????  Where were they?"  He said he found them walking down the farm access road headed for home.  He and the dogs then led the pigs to their fenced pasture and he finished mending the fence.  He told me the pigs seemed tired and they headed right for their water and food once got to their fenced area.  Needless to say, the next day was spent working on fences!  What do they say ""good fences make good neighbors"?  And a farmer who loves to interact with his pigs is priceless when they need to be called home!

Did you know this is National Farmers Market Week?  Do you think there is a greeting card for that?  I'm not sure about the card, but I do know farmers markets are in full swing right now.  Why not stop by a local farmers market, pick up some great local food and "shake the hand that grows your food".  On Saturday, Farmer Don and Farmer Phil will be at the Back Mountain Farmers Market in Dallas.  In addition to Dancing Hen Farm produce, Farmer Phil will also be selling veggies from his family's extensive garden.  If you go to the Dallas market, be sure to ask Farmer Phil what he has for sale.  On Sunday Farmer Don will be at the Mountain Top Farmers Market. 

So, I am already late getting this newsletter out, so I think I will end the rambling now. 

Until next week.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Wilda Mae

This past week we said good-bye to Wilda Mae, Billie.  Bill was very much a one person cat and her person was Farmer Don.  She followed him around and slept almost every night snuggled under the covers with him.  Rest is peace Billie Cat, until we meet again.

Friday, August 3, 2018

CSA Week 8 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!  Welcome to August

Ordering for Week 8 of our CSA is now open and will close on Sunday at 6 pm.  Week 8 is not an egg week.

Last week brought us torrential rain and this week brings us crazy humidity and downpours.  Hopefully we are getting enough sun to ripen our tomatoes.  All this rain and humidity makes me nervous about disease in our tomatoes.  Most worrisome, is late blight.  Early this season, late blight was already confirmed in Pennsylvania and New York and we were convinced we would lose our crop before our plants even set fruit.  Then some drier weather moved in and the blight threat subsided.  Now the threat is back, especially with last week's storms coming from the southeast part of the state.  One way late blight spreads is in the air currents and these storms came to us via the areas with confirmed blight.  Humid, moisture filled air and foliage which stays wet for most of the day is heaven for late blight spores.  The only thing in our favor is the heat, blight tends to like slightly cooler temperatures.  We have our fingers crossed that blight will come to our fields later, rather than earlier.

Speaking of tomatoes.  We have tomatoes!   Get your recipes ready, or at the very least have your salt shaker nearby.  Cherries, including sungolds, are ripening nicely and should be available for many weeks.  Sungolds became available for choice by themselves this week.  Our large field tomatoes, slicing and heirlooms, are just starting to turn and I expect them to be available for choice next week, or maybe the next.  Please remember we pick our larger tomatoes on the green side and may require a few days on the kitchen table to fully ripen.
We continue to pick cucumbers!  Believe it or not we think we have harvested close to 1,000 pounds of cukes this season.   That's half a ton!!!  Definitely the year of the cucumber.  Our first summer squash planting has also been bountiful, but production here is slowing.  Our second squash planting looks good, but we anticipate a few weeks where summer squash is a bit scarce.  We are starting to pick green beans, with a few pounds going out this week, with lots of beans available in the coming weeks.  Also new this week are dandelion greens.  I would suggest pairing dandelion with a nice warm balsamic vinaigrette or hot bacon dressing.

On farm, this past week, brought both sorrow and joy.  First we lost yet another farm resident.  Wilda Mae, or Billie, as we called her, was Farmer Don's cat.  She was a one person cat, following Farmer Don around and sleeping under the covers with him.  Wilda was named after one of my Mother's school mates.  She was a stray at a friend of ours house and his grandson wanted to name the kitten William. Only William was a girl!  We brought her home named William, when my Mother suggested Wilda Mae, after a grade school classmate.  Wilda lived life on her terms and she died on her terms.  Rest in peace Billie.

On a more joyous note.  Farmer Don and I ventured up the river a bit to hear some live music.  In our younger years, live music was a staple in our lives.  Recently, we have not been out to see music for quite some time.  It took a bit of planning and all of Farmer Don's negotiating  and debating skills to get me there.  Eventually I gave in and off we went, even dragging our friend, Annie, from college, with us.  And, yes, Farmer Don, I have to admit, I had a good time and being out in public wasn't nearly as horrendous as I imagined.  If you see Farmer Don, thank him for pushing his wife out of her new homebody comfort zone.

In our kitchen, some summertime regulars are starting to appear.  This includes a perpetual bowl of sungold tomatoes!  And last week, we had our first BLT's of the season.  I haven't started any canning or freezing yet, but may try a quick batch of freezer pickles this weekend, depending on how I feel.   My freezer pickle recipe is very simple containing only cucumbers, onions, salt, sugar and vinegar, no spices.  In the fall and winter, I like to add a few of these pickles to my salad, sometimes as a replacement to any dressing.  I am hoping for tomatoes to can and beans to freeze, but that will probably be the extent of my preserving this year.
Speaking of preserving, we do still have bulk cucumbers available.  We sell them in half bushel boxes.  A half bushel box weighs about is 20 pounds and will easily make two batches of pickles.
Farmer Don spends his weekends at farmers market.  On Saturday he and Farmer Phil are in Dallas at the Back Mountain Market.  This market is now at the Dallas high school and you will need to follow the detour signs as Hildebrandt road is closed for construction.  On Sundays he is at the Mountain Top Farmers Market at the Crestwood High School.  If you come either of these markets, please stop by our tables, say hello and "shake the hand that grows your food."

Ok, it is getting late and I need to head to bed.  I will print this gibberish for Farmer Don to read and most likely email it out to everyone tomorrow morning.

Until next week.......

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Week 7

Greetings from a soggy Dancing Hen Farm!

CSA Week 7 ordering is now underway and will end on Sunday at 6 pm.  Week 7 is an egg week.  Hopefully everyone is enjoying their Week 6 boxes.

Wow!  What more can I say about all the rain this week?  I don't have an amount for here on farm, as our rain gauges are, as Farmer Don would say, "having opportunities right now".  But, I do know Monday was by far one of wettest ever.  We all owe Farmer Don, Stacy, Jane, Joyce, Ann and Lori a huge thank you  for bringing in the harvest and then packing boxes under a leaky roof.  Three solid days of heavy showers has left the farm (and the farmers!) a little soggy.  But, today the sun was shining and already our upper fields are drying out.  And even though the amount of rain was excessive, some of our crops did benefit from this rain.

So, our crops.  Our tomatoes are finally starting to ripen and we expect our cherry tomato (including sungolds!) to become available in larger numbers next week.  Larger tomatoes will need a few more weeks and some warm sunny days before they color up for harvest.  We continue to harvest summer squash and cucumbers although both of these plantings are slowing down a bit.  Our next planting of summer squash is looking good and we will be harvesting off of those plants soon.  Asian greens are looking good, as are our snap beans.  I anticipate greens to be available first, followed by beans.  Our winter squash plantings are looking good. 

Before I forget!  If you are looking to make some pickles, please contact us at the farm for case pricing on cucumbers.

Our kitchen is still focusing on meat and zucchini on the grill, with either a cucumber or a green salad.  Although tonight we had our first cherry tomato salad!  I mixed in some cucumber as well to stretch the tomatoes a bit, but I think the transition to tomatoes is beginning.  Soon I will be talking about sliced tomatoes and tomato sandwiches!  Last week Farmer Don did get a bit more creative in the kitchen.  He pulled out one of our Deborah Madison cookbooks and made some really delicious braised fennel over saffron rice. 

For any of our members and farm friends who are on social media, the farm has a facebook page, a pinterest page and a blog!  I post farm updates, these newsletters and pictures to our facebook page ( and to our blog (  Please follow along! 

With summer in full swing and vacation season upon us, time for some quick housekeeping notes.  If you are expecting chicken or a buying club order, please remember to check any coolers at your drop site for your items.  If you are going on vacation and won't be picking up your box, please let  know so we can donate your share.  Our drop sites are unable to store or keep items refrigerated for you. 

Yes, a bit of a short newsletter this week.  Sorry, I think spending 3 days fretting about all the rain has me tired out!  So, I will say, until next week.  And enjoy those veggies!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

CSA Week 6 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!  

Week 6 ordering is now open and will close Sunday at 6 pm.  Week 6 is not an egg week.  We hope everyone is enjoying their Week 5 box.

Sitting on the back porch enjoying a beautiful evening!  We have a wren family in our bird bottle and Jenny Wren is not happy with the dogs, cat and I hanging out near her babies.  With each trip to and from the bottle, she stops and scolds us extensively!  Growing up, we always had wrens nesting in a bird box close to our back porch, as I am so fondly remembering tonight.

After a hot start to the week and some nasty storms on Tuesday, the past few days have been beautiful.  Clear blue skies, low humidity and cool nights for good sleeping.  Our low was 51 on farm this morning!  I stand corrected, Farmer Don just told me it was 46 up in the field this morning!  It does seem the hot and muggies may be back for the beginning of next week; I am sure just in time for Monday's harvest.  This year, I think our harvest days (Mondays) have been some of the hottest ever.  And the gnats are back in full force as well!  

On farm, this is still a transition week for us.  So hang in there, lots of good things coming your way!  Cucumbers and squash continue to produce well.  Snap beans are so close, but just not quite ready for picking.  I anticipate a few more weeks, at least and then we will have beans available.  We have planting of green, yellow, dragon and purple beans.  We also have a small planting of flat Italian style green beans, but those are just starting to grow, so they will be a while yet.  We have lots of tomatoes on the vine, but we will need a few more weeks of heat and sun to ripen them.  Our sungolds and some cherry tomatoes are slowly ripening and again, we anticipate lots of these available in the near future.  Cooking and salad greens are in the ground and these cooler days and nights, combined with Tuesday's rain should have them growing nicely.  This also true for our second round of Asian greens.

Speaking of starting to produce.  Our new flock of laying hens have started to lay!  The first few weeks of eggs are quite small (pullet eggs), but soon those eggs will be in the rotation and we can again offer eggs as a choice item or on our buying club.

It seems I have been talking a lot about what will be happening "soon" in this newsletter, so let's talk a bit about the past.  Today is Farmer Don's and my wedding anniversary!  Yes, we were married in July, one of our busiest times on farm!  Of course, many moons ago, when we promised our love to each other, we were not farming.  Don was climbing the corporate ladder of the restaurant business and I was in graduate school destined, or so I thought, to become a Doctor of Entomology (bugs!).  Now our lives are much simpler and the only climbing Farmer Don does is up the side of the greenhouse when he needs to make a repair to the plastic!  I still have a strange fondness for bugs, but never did become "Dr Miller".

So, the night is moving on and Farmer Don just about has our anniversary dinner ready.  We will again be dining on most all Dancing Hen Farm produced food.  I would say not a bad way to spend our anniversary!

Thanks again to everyone for your continued support.  Have a great week and enjoy those veggies.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 CSA Week 5

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Welcome to Week 5 of our CSA.  Ordering is now open for Week 5 and will close, Sunday at 6 pm.  Week 5 is an egg week and a chicken delivery week.  If you ordered a chicken share, your chicken will be at your drop site in a cooler.  Please leave the cooler at your drop site.

On farm, we are considering Week 5 a transition week.  We are transitioning from spring greens into summer fruiting crops.  Our greens were really hit hard by the recent heat waves and hence their availability is very limited this week.  We do have more heat tolerant greens coming on, including cooking and salad greens.  Summer squash and cucumbers are loving the hot weather and are really producing.  The plants look good, so we should see several more weeks of nice harvest.  One of our Amish neighbors had a few cherry tomatoes ready for harvest which we were able to offer this week.  These are certified organic.  Our tomatoes are looking good, but not quite ready for picking.  We anticipate sungold cherries will be our first tomato to ripen. We have several planting of beans which are flowering and starting to produce tiny beans, so we should be harvesting beans soon.

The saga of nuisance wildlife on farm continues.  Farmer Don is again doing battle with the raccoons.  This year we have lost some meat birds to the coon family, a first for our farm.  We are fighting back with electric!  Our meat birds are now enclosed in their own electric pen.  A hot wire, close to the ground, seems to be have stumped the coons, at least for now.  Raccoons are crafty, so I will not be surprised if they don't figure out how to get around the fence.  We also have our yearly deer with babies in our orchard.  This year we seem to have one doe and one fawn.  Soon Mommy deer will be bringing baby down to our production fields to teach it where to find nutrient dense organic veggies!  We are hoping our insect row covers will also keep the deer out!

In the kitchen, zucchini on the grill and cucumber salad is still the norm for us.  And we aren't complaining.  Summer squash and cucumbers are something we usually only eat, fresh, in season.  We are starting to harvest some larger zucchini, so I will need to get my zucchini bread recipe out.  I make the bread into muffins which I freeze.  I find these muffins really convenient for breakfast, as they allow me to defrost just the number we need for breakfast.
A quick reminder to please return the wax share boxes for us to reuse.  We also reuse egg cartons and cardboard berry boxes.  Please leave these items at your drop site.

Until next week!
As always, thank you for your continued support!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

2018 CSA Week 4

Greetings from a much cooler Dancing Hen Farm!  Welcome to Week 4 of our CSA.  Week 4 is NOT an egg delivery week.

We hope everyone enjoyed the July 4th holiday.  We enjoyed an inside picnic, due to the rain.  Farmer Don spent much of the day dodging lightening as he strung electric fence around our pastured poultry pens.  It seems our resident raccoon has found our meat chickens.  Hopefully this ankle high electric fence will convince the raccoon to move on.

Wow!  It seems like forever since I have written a weekly newsletter.  As always, Farmer Don is so busy growing and tending the farm, he has trouble finding time for newsletters.  I am not doing much in the fields these days, so I volunteered to take over newsletters again.
After a week (or more?) of temperatures in the 90's, waking this morning to 53 was quite the change.   The air conditioner is off, the windows are open and I am wearing a sweat shirt.  But, I am not complaining, near perfect weather for me today.  It looks like the lower humidity and temperatures will last at least for harvest on Monday.  Last Monday's harvest was a real challenge with hot, hot temperatures, high humidity and the return of the attack gnats! 

The recent heat wave was good for some crops, but not so good for others.  Our summer squash and zucchini have really started to produce and our tomatoes and peppers are being pushed along nicely.  Summer squash varieties should continue to produce for many more weeks.  Tomatoes  have fruit on the plants and we are waiting patiently for our first sungold to ripen.  Cucumbers are also starting to be harvested.  Our peas, however, did not do so well in the heat and  are about done for the season.  Greens also tend not to like hot weather, but Farmer Don thinks he saved most of those by pushing cool irrigation water to their roots and utilizing shade cloth to give them a slightly cooler growing environment. 

A sure sign we are in the midst of summer are farm meals.  We are now focusing on freshly harvested veggies, rather than the preserved harvest from last season.  Lots of what I like to call "kitchen sink" stir fries, featuring whatever veggies are harvested.  And right now we are eating lots of zucchini on the grill.  This is by far Farmer Don's favorite way to cook and eat zucchini.  He slices the squash thinly length wise and salts it a bit to draw out the moisture.  Next he marinates the slices in some olive oil or Italian dressing and then tosses them on the grill.  Once cooked, a bit of Parmesan cheese is added to each slice and they are ready to be eaten.  This week we enjoyed our first cucumber salad, a farm and Miller household favorite.  Thinly sliced cucumbers, onions, and peppers (if you have them) are tossed with a slightly sweet, oil and vinegar dressing.  The leftover dressing can be kept in the fridge for about a week and each day new veggies can be added. 

Ok, a quick apology to those of you who have been with our CSA for a number of years!  I am fairly certain, I have written about grilling zucchini and cucumber salad every year.  Sorry, I guess, here on farm, we are creatures of habit.  Maybe I will find some new recipes for next week?  But, grilled zukes and cucumber salad are soooo good!  And only enjoyed during this short season we call summer here in this part of Pennsylvania.

Our farmers markets are beginning.  Last week was our first Mountain Top Market.  Thank you, Jason, for filling in for Farmer Don!  The Mountain Top Market is every Sunday in the Crestwood High School parking lot from 9 to 1.  Next Saturday is our first Back Mountain Market.  This market is every  Saturday from 9 to 2 and this year market will be held at the Dallas High School.  Please note, Hildebrandt Road is closing for construction, so you will need to follow the detour to the high school.  If you go to either of these markets, please, stop by our tables and say hello to Farmer Don.

The day is getting away from me!  Farmer Don is busy harvesting for tomorrow's market and I still have wash to hang out.  Time to get moving!

Thanks once again, to each of you for your support.  It is you, our friends and community, who keep us growing.