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