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.