Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!
Welcome to Week 3 of our 2019 CSA. Week 3 is an egg week. Ordering for Week 3 is now underway and will close tonight, Sunday, at 6 pm..
It doesn't seem possible that it is already time to celebrate July 4th. It seems summer has barely started. Although this morning brought cooler temperatures, this week we did see some summer heat returning. The heat had Farmer Don declaring the our farm pond "open" as he took his first cooling dip of the season. He reports the water is still really cold, but it felt great after a long day in the fields. We are hoping the seemingly daily drenching rains have subsided for a bit and our fields can dry out and our summer crops can begin to grow. Farmer Don told me he has seen some long range predictions for the summer weather and we could be in for a hot and dry summer. Although hot and dry brings along a whole set of problems, it will be a relief to have a break from the wet summers we have endured recently.
On farm we are falling into our summer rhythm. With the CSA in full swing and farmers markets starting up, we find ourselves spending more time harvesting, washing and packing produce. This allows for less time to plant and maintain our fields. Even with the longer days, there still does not seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the farm to do list. In general our fields are looking weedy, but our crops seem to be growing well. We have been really happy with our romaine lettuce this year and our chard and kale are growing nicely. Peas look good, but the warmer temperatures will most likely take a toll on them and I predict their production will slow quite quickly. Row covers have been removed from our eight ball zucchini plants and cucumbers. It will not be long before these crops appear on our harvest list. We are starting to harvest scallions and continue to harvest onions. Tomatillos are looking really good and tomatoes are starting to take hold. Green beans are being replanted, as much of our first planting fell victim to the groundhog.
Since I am generally feeling better these days, one of the farm tasks I have been trying to take back is meal preparation. Farmer Don is so busy in the fields, I feel horrible expecting him to also be busy in the kitchen! So yesterday, I gave Farmer Don my shopping list for him to harvest. He came back with a beautiful bunch of chard, some peas, green onions and green garlic. Our chard is so beautiful right now and I really wanted to feature it in our evening meal. I had planned a simple greens, goat cheese and pasta dish. While the pasta water heated, I got busy sautéing the vegetables. Once the veggies were cooked, I put them, along with the pasta, goat cheese and a cup of pasta water in a bowl and mixed everything together with some fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. A salad and some sour dough bread completed the meal. As is often the case this time of year, Farmer Don and I felt blessed to have a meal with the majority of the ingredients produced here on our farm. Tonight we are having a summer stable at Dancing Hen Farm - BLT's. We have a beautiful tomato grown in one our Amish friend's greenhouse on the kitchen table waiting to be sliced and a nice head of our own lettuce already washed and in the fridge. Dancing Hen Farm bacon will complete the sandwich.
Farmers Market season officially began for us this weekend. Today Farmer Don is at the Mountain Top Market today and next Saturday the Back Mountain Market opens. Right now we expect to be at both of these markets throughout the season. If you visit market, please stop by our stand and say hello to Farmer Don. He really enjoys meeting our customers. And as a public service announcement, I would encourage you to visit local farmers markets and buy fresh buy local. Supporting local farmers is investing in your local community by keeping your food dollars local.
Farmer Don wants me to be sure to thank our CSA members for returning their share boxes, egg cartons and green pint and quart containers. Reusing these items not only keeps farm costs down, but also reduces our farm's environmental footprint by keeping these items out of the landfills.
As long as I am saying "thank you". I cannot end a newsletter without thanking each of you for your support of our farm. Without your support we would not be able to farm this rocky hillside we call Dancing Hen Farm.
I will end here as my computer is running out of battery juice and I am hoping to pull some weeds in my flower beds on this beautiful last day of June. So in the words of Farmer Don "be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies".