Friday, June 29, 2018

June Pictures

June pictures. Pigs have arrived and are really friendly! Lots of insect netting over our crops this year, to keep out the bugs and animals.  

Insect netting.

Chickens in summer shade mode.

Rosie keeping her distance from the electric fence around the pigs. 

The piggies love visitors!

2018 CSA Week 2

2018 CSA week 2
Good Morning Friends!
A soggy start to this morning, big storms late last night, loud thunder, must've had the animals unnerved. I know I was and I was in the house.
Hope everyone is enjoying the week two harvest as we move into week three. Shelling peas will join the harvest this week. They have finally filled out and look nice. Snap peas and snow peas are slowing down as we picked them over pretty hard the past two weeks. Squash is trying to grow bigger and the cucumbers continue to look good, but fruit production has been slow. I'm really happy with sungold tomatoes in our high tunnel. Lot's of early fruit on the vine. And the big news moving forward looks to be the hot weather. All of the heat loving crops will be in growing heaven while the greens will need a shade cloth cover. Nothing we can't handle as we have lots of shade cloth and will run irrigation water at night to avoid evaporation.
I'd like to introduce a new helper on the farm, Nancy. She will be doing our delivery driving with Farmer Phil in the navigation seat. Really a big job and this will free me up to have a full farm day to grow the harvest. Some of you may remember Lydia, our intern from years past. Lydia, Farmer Phil and I would do the market in Dallas and Lydia was the author of our Nutritional Newsletter a few years ago. Nancy is Lyds mom, and Nancy is the grower behind "Nancy's Flowers" that we sell at the Back Mountain Memorial Library Market. So look for Nancy and Farmer Phil out and about on Tuesdays delivering the harvest. Give them a big thumb up and a thanks for the help.
Time to wrap up, head out and tend to the farm. Remember the website opens at 6pm tonight for choice. We still have some slots open for the late joiners, though egg shares are probably sold out. Stay cool in the heat and have a safe and fun 4th of July.
Finally, the heart of the farm, my wife Joan, continues to feel a little better each day and is getting out of the house a little more. It was nice to see her be able to share in our tasting event last Sunday at the Blind Pig Kitchen. Thanks to all of our supporters who made it out to join us and a big thanks to Toby and Sarah for making it happen. Farm to Table at it's best.
Be well friends,
Farmer Don

2018 CSA Week 1

Hi Friends,
Hope everyone is enjoying the week one harvest! A very HOT harvest day, but many hands on farm to help get the harvest in and out to you. Farmer Phil and I did the delivery rounds and established our delivery route. Don't think we had to turn around once! Next week we should be able to hit it perfectly and be to our drop sites in good time. We do our Wilkes Barre and east deliveries in the morning, then pit stop at the farm, unload all the returned boxes and fill up for our Bloomsburg / Danville afternoon run. For the past few years this has served us well so no need to change. I did mention that we reuse our share boxes, as well as egg cartons and pint and qt containers, so please save those for us to pick up with your next delivery. And remember to respect your site hosts and keep things clean and orderly. These folks volunteer their businesses and homes for our use. Thanks for your understanding here.
Some new items coming out this week and some items have to go away as the season has already passed by. Strawberries were nice to see, as Joan says I should be eating more fresh fruit. Squash will be hitting the harvest really big very soon so get ready. A small amount coming out this week to get started. And look for lots of cucumbers coming out soon. Get ready to make pickles as our plants look really nice and full of flowers.
Those of you who pick up on the farm probably missed seeing our pup Rosie. She was on the mend after spending all day Sunday at the doggie hospital. She went under the knife for a little, but all is well after our follow up today at her regular doctor. Next Tuesday she should be ready to greet all farm pick up folks and be expecting to play ball and get and give kisses. Remember though we are a no stick farm. Throw balls for her but no sticks. They hurt when they get stuck in her mouth.
Time to check on the plantings. Lot's of eggplant going in today. Next to the fennel that went in around a week ago. Beans are up well and arugula is looking good also. I'm thinking sungold tomatoes will be the first harvest this season. We'll see!
Ordering opens at 6pm, be there! Thanks again for the support and Joan continues to feel better each day!
Farmer Don

Friday, June 15, 2018

Updates and News

Hi Friends,
Getting a late notice out to stay in touch. Very busy on the farm right now. Weather has been very cool at night with some days sunny and other with rain. Planning around the weather for us is huge right now. Grass and weeds seem to like this kind of weather. Constantly mowing. Crops are coming along nicely. Some like this weather and others grow a little slower. Bill the cat is trying to help type this newsletter, folks with cats will understand. So, choice starts this Thursday, June 14th, 6pm. Set your clocks. Lot's of greens to start off with, and hopefully some early season surprises. Fruiting crops are a few weeks behind, so peas and summer squash will probably be on week two, maybe a small sampling for week one. Lot's to come your way. And, get those pickling jars ready, as the cucumber plants look really nice, should expect a nice harvest. Fennel and beans will be a few weeks out, but really excited about our plantings there. Had to replace probably 1000 tomato plantings as our early young plants were taken out by a worm or mouse under the plastic cover.....very frustrating. Life on the farm, Sun Golds look great in the high tunnel.. YEA!!!! Farmer Don's favorite!
So, time to get some rest. Baby pullets coming to the farm tomorrow, long trip to Lancaster County for pick up. But, many eggs to come later in the season.
A couple shout outs: Thanks to Stacy, Annie, Ken and Jason for their help keeping the farm running this spring. Their help has been huge this spring. Blyss up at Cornell, Jane in for the summer and Lyds out in Montana were also very helpful as well. Can't say enough about the community that surrounds us and helps us to share the harvest. This is all about community. I'll repeat that, We are all about COMMUNITY. YOU SUPPORT US, and we are ready to return that support with a share of the harvest!
Next, and a huge part of our love, life and farm, Joan has felt the support and well wishes from all of you and is on a really nice upswing, breathing a lot easier and generally feeling soooooo much better. Still on the mend, but her recovery from this winter has the farm feeling the good vibes! Now we keep health and nurturing going and hoping all will be well as we move forward.
Finally, Chef Toby and Sarah over at the Blind Pig in Bloomsburg want me to put a reminder out there. The Dancing Hen Farm dinner at Blind Pig will be Sunday, June 24th. A chance to enjoy our harvest cooked by Toby and served in the ambiance of the Blind Pig Kitchen.
Be well, friends! The harvest is coming soon!
Thanks again for your support!

Monday, June 4, 2018

2018 CSA Update

2018 CSA update June 4th
Hi Friends, Good morning from a damp and chilly Dancing Hen Farm! Despite the weather and the difficult spring growing conditions, we have decided to start up deliveries. We will delay our start by two weeks though. So, first delivery will be Tuesday, June 19th. Our website will open for choice on Thursday June 14th, 6pm. Set your clocks for reminder mode. The season will run for 20 weeks. With June 19th being the 1st week, deliveries will run to Oct. 30th, the 20th week of our season. Week one will also be a chicken share delivery. Chicken shares will be delivered in marked coolers with labels on the chicken shares themselves. We will be sending out more emails with more detail and making phone calls to ensure week one goes as smooth as possible. To our friends picking up at our Dallas location, we will be relocating the drop site very shortly, as we wish our long time farm friend and site host, Judy, a happy retirement. All Dallas pick up members will be contacted directly.
On the home front, Joan continues to feel better each and every day. Rehab is really helping to bulk her up and she has started a therapy series as well. Still tied to the house with the O2 line, but even that is getting somewhat better. Our thanks goes out for all the prayers and well wishes. Those really go a long way to encourage during the tough times!
So, morning chores are calling. Time to move along. Again, big news is 1st delivery, June 19th, with first order day June 14th. Still time to get those last minute friends to join the CSA and share the harvest with us.
Be well, friends,
Farmer Don