Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!
We hope all our CSA members are enjoying their Week 13 share boxes. Week 13 was an egg share week. Ordering for Week 14 is now open.
It looks like fall, the leaves are slowly turning, the golden rod is in full bloom and the days are most definitely getting shorter. But it certainly feels like summer is still here. Just as I was getting ready to pack away some summer clothes we get another day of "air you can wear", as the local weatherman likes to say. We are not complaining on farm, as some warmer temperatures will help with ripening of the last of our summer crops. Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, beans and eggplant all like warmth. However our fields could really use some rain. Yesterday and today some areas very close to us received some nice rain, but here on farm we have had only a few short lived showers. This lack of rain is really delaying the maturation of our fall greens. And the forecast is for another dry week ahead.
Although dry, our fields are still looking good moving into fall. We continue to harvest tomatoes. This week we have placed green tomatoes on the availability list, so get your fried green tomato recipes ready. We have also made tomato seconds available. Seconds are generally what we eat here on farm. They are usually ripe and ready to eat, but may have a few spots or cracks on them. If you order seconds you can expect a generous portion. Other than tomatoes, we are harvesting a small number of beans and zucchini is also making a late summer come back. Like tomatoes, peppers should continue to be available until we receive a killing frost. We have some beautiful radishes starting to size up and with a bit of moisture, they should be available next week. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be harvesting some tender young greens as well.
I am really happy to be doing some canning and preserving this year. As I have said in the past, I really enjoy canning and preserving. It brings back not only fond memories of my childhood, but also of various gardens Farmer Don and I have tended over the years. Last year was really tough for me, as I found myself too ill to spend time extending our harvest. So, I set a goal this year to get canning. So yesterday, on one of the hottest days of the year, for some reason, I decided to make good on that goal and can tomatoes. Well to be fair to myself, the tomatoes decided they needed to be canned. After pack on Tuesday night, Farmer Don told me he had tomatoes harvested which were destined to become pig food if they were not used. They would not hold for the weekend's markets or next week's pack. So I dug the canner out of the closet and got busy Wednesday morning processing tomatoes. And boy did I heat up the house! Even the dogs couldn't stay in the kitchen! I only got a yield of 6 quarts (one short of a canner load), but I am happy to say all 6 quarts sealed and are resting on the kitchen table, ready to be washed off and put away for winter use. And my canning chores, hopefully, are not over for the year.
It seems, once again I have been writing this newsletter for a long time. The weather has now cooled, the dogs have been fed and it is time for me to get some supper started. On the menu tonight -- salmon on a bed of sauted kale and sungold tomatoes. And, of course, some sliced heirloom tomatoes as a salad.
Thank you to each of you for your continued support of our small farm and local sustainable agriculture.