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.