Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm! Welcome to Week 2 of our CSA! Welcome to Summer! Happy Summer Solstice, be sure to get out and enjoy the longest day of the year!
Hopefully all of our CSA members are enjoying their boxes. Ordering for Week 2 is now underway and will close on Sunday at 6 pm. Week 2 is not an egg week. A quick note on ordering: Remember if you do not place an order, you will still get a box, a farmer's choice box. In addition, you may want to consider a farmer's choice box if many items are sold out when you go to make your weekly selections. Farmer's choice items often are items we have in very limited numbers or are items we were able to harvest more of than we predicted.
How can I possibly write a newsletter without discussing the weather? Even though we awoke to rain this morning, now the weather seems to have changed. There is a swift breeze and the tropical humid feel to the air seems to have moved on. The weathermen are predicting a dry weekend and next week seems to not be quite as soggy as this week. We definitely have had our share of rain over the past few days, making it very hard for Farmer Don to get on the tractor and prepare beds for planting. But, again we are counting our blessings, as some communities near us once again suffered flash flooding this past week. In addition, farms in the Midwest are really suffering from all the rain. Many of these farmers have been unable to get in their fields all season. We are seeing reports of vegetable farmers canceling CSA's and corn and soybean growers possibly losing an entire season of income as it has become too late for them to plant and expect crops to mature. So, once again our thoughts and prayers go out to our neighbors and fellow farmers and we count our blessings.
Our fields are filling up as our nursery empties of transplants. The rain has caused our planting to be a bit behind schedule, which means some crops will be slightly later ripening for harvest. I think this year we have worked more in the rain than any year. Week one was a very soggy harvest (thanks Stacy, Phil and Lori!). Last week saw farmer Don trying desperately to plant what he could between the rain storms. But, the fields are producing! Peas and greens are looking good and should continue to be available for the next few weeks. Basil and parsley are two of the crops whose planting has been delayed. They should be planted this week and become available for choice shortly after that. Green, or early, onions should continue to be available for the next few weeks, as should new potatoes. Our first planting of kale and Swiss chard are looking good and our second planting of these crops are ready to be planted as soon as the fields are ready. Our large summer squash plantings should be producing soon, so squash availability will increase soon. We suffered some loss in our broccoli and cauliflower plantings, but the plants that survived are looking good and starting to produce.
In the kitchen, one of our goals this year is to use up leftovers. We tend to cook beef and chicken once a week and use the leftovers during the week. This mostly means, stir-frys, wraps and salads. One of my favorites is thin sliced beef added to sauted veggies and tucked into a tortilla or wrap. Farmer Don prefers leftover chicken or beef on a green salad. Recently we were cleaning out and came across some old saved magazines. We quickly scanned them and saved a few from recycling for their recipes. One of these recipes was a simple chard and white bean recipe which pairs well with pork chops or beef. It is a simple saute. Here is the actual recipe https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/pork-chops-chard-white-beans . As the recipe notes, remove the stems from the chard and cook them with the onions. On a side note, I always us those colorful chard stems. If they don't go in the saute pan, I add them raw to chicken or tuna salad.
I always find it interesting when my predictions proven wrong and this is so often the case with our farm dogs. Recently, I am not much help in the fields, so I spend most days working around the house or on our back porch. I always assumed Shady, our older mellow dog, would be my companion. She is much lower energy than our Border Collie, Rosie, and really enjoys her nap time. Rose, on the other hand, always seems to be awake and on the alert, ready to run and/or chase any "invaders" and is always ready to go when Farmer Don says "we have work to do" . It seemed logical Rosie would be in the fields with Don hunting her prey and Shady would be sleeping peacefully with me. But, much to my surprise, this is not the case. Rose has been spending her days by my side. She still goes to work with Don when he asks, but almost always makes her way back to the house, where she is ever watching for the invaders, but completely happy to hang out. Shady, on the other hand insists on going everywhere Farmer Don goes. She still naps, but not on porch, instead she can be found sleeping in or under the truck or burrowed happily into a bed of weeds. Of course, as I type this, Shady is passed out at my feet and Rose is nowhere to be found! Predictions, ever to be proven wrong!
Please remember we reuse our waxed share boxes. Open your box carefully to avoid tearing it and leave your share box at your drop site. We also reuse egg cartons and green berry boxes. These items can also be left at your drop site.
As always, thank you for your support of our farm and local agriculture. Keeping money local has a big impact on our community.
Be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies.