Thursday, September 5, 2019

2019 CSA Week 12 News

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm.

We hope everyone is enjoying their Week 12 CSA boxes.  Week 12 was not an egg week.  Ordering is now open for Week 13.

The recent rains have been welcome on farm.  We are still operating without our farm well and pump and therefore have only limited irrigation for our crops.  Our farm is hilly and our soils are rocky, which means our fields drain and therefore dry out surprisingly quick.  These well drained soils are a real blessing when we get flooding rains, but during drier times, our crops often show signs of water stress.  Farmer Don has set up a gravity fed system to get water to some of our more vulnerable crops, but other plantings are only being water by rainfall. 

Despite this lack of irrigation, our crops continue to look good.  New to the harvest list this week include yellow snap/wax beans, delicata squash and an assortment of hot and sweet peppers.  Delicata is the first of the winter squash varieties to be available and should continue to be available for several weeks.  Look for other winter squash in the upcoming weeks.  Wax beans should become available in larger numbers and hopefully we will also have dragon and purple snap beans available soon.  Our fall cabbage is g sizing up and should be ready for harvest in the coming weeks.  We did not have luck with our spring radishes, but fall radishes are up and looking good.  With any luck we will have radishes in a week or two.  Kale and chard will continue to be available and fall greens plantings are close to being harvestable.  Our tomato plants are, for the most part looking good.  We have a bit of disease, but we are hoping to continue harvest until a frost kills our plants.  We are doing our best to get tomatoes to you as they ripen.  As many of you with home gardens may already know, this has been a slow year for tomato ripening. 

In the kitchen, I finally got around to making eggplant sandwiches.  Originally I was going to roast the eggplant slices on the grill, but decided on oven roasting them instead.  I also added sungold tomatoes and a few capers to the roasting pan.  The sandwiches were assembled by spreading ciabatta rolls with some pesto, adding a slice of fresh mozzarella, a slice or two of roasted eggplant topped with some roasted sungolds and the juice from the roasting pan.  The rolls I had were a bit tough, making the sandwiches hard to eat, but the flavors were really good.  Farmer Don and I both decided the sandwiches needed to make a repeat appearance.  Since I had some mozzarella cheese leftover, the next day I made a delicious caprese salad using a couple of beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  Nothing says the end of summer to me like thick slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil!

As most of you know we have two farm dogs, Shady and Rosie.  Rosie is a Border Collie and has all the quirks of that breed.  Shady is a mixed breed and was a stray who decided Dancing Hen Farm would be a good place to call home.  Shady has always been a bit of a forager.  She will pick ripe berries off plants, even going as far as to test a berry's ripeness before she picks and eats it.  We have to keep harvested cucumbers and summer squash covered or she will steal and eat them.  And don't even get me started on Shady and eggs!  Recently she found another farm product to forage, sungold tomatoes.  Farmer Don came in from harvest the other night with a big grin on his face telling me how cute Shady was.  It seems as he harvested the cherry tomatoes into the bucket, Shady picked them out and ate them.  I don't think she has learned to pick them herself yet, but I am sure it is only a matter of time.  Next year we may need to plant extra tomatoes for Shady!

So, it is getting late, I am getting tired and I am already late getting this newsletter out to everyone.  I will end here.  Have a great week!  Enjoy those veggies.  And please keep our neighbors to the south dealing with the aftermath of Dorian in your thoughts and prayers.

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