Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!
Wow! Lots has happened since the last newsletter.
First, we delivered our last CSA box of the season last week. Hopefully all our members enjoyed our 2019 CSA season. Farmers Don and Phil will be making one last round of our pick up sites to pick up share boxes and any coolers left, so please return your boxes to your pick up site.
We also experienced our first hard frost several days ago. This frost means our growing season for 2019 has come to an end. All our tender, summer crops are finished or have been killed by the frost. We do have some hearty crops still in the ground which we can continue to harvest until we get below freezing temperatures. Greens, including salad mix, always flourish in the cooler fall temperatures. Spinach and hakurei turnips have also been beautiful this fall.
This past week we also celebrated our annual running of the Dancing Hen Farm Pigs. Those of you who have followed us over the years know that we raise our pigs high on a hill above our farm in an abandoned apple orchard. The pigs spend a great summer relaxing under the apple trees and snacking on fallen apples. Then, in the fall, we must move the pigs from the orchard into the barn so they can be loaded for market. Farmer Don and our friend Jason spent the bulk of Sunday getting the runway and barn ready to move the pigs. Finally when the field (or barn in this case) was set, the run began. The pigs enthusiastically charged down the hill into the barn and oops! out the other side! Five pigs decided to keep running up the road. We joked they were headed for the local bar! Thankfully our friend and neighbor Toby came by at just that time and helped turn the pigs around and return them to the barn. Unfortunately this was not the last of the pigs adventures. Farmer Don was off farm all day Monday and the pigs decided this was the perfect opportunity to explore the farm. Again we were thankful Toby was available to help round up the pigs several times during the day and better secure their barnyard pen. By the time Farmer Don returned on Monday evening, the pigs were peacefully sleeping in the barn, exhausted from their adventures. Again we are counting our blessings for good neighbors and friendly pigs!
The kitchen has also moved into fall and winter mode, as the soup pot, rather than the grill has become the tool of choice for meal preparation. Although, with the beautiful salad greens and spinach being harvested, we are eating our share of salads. We are back into our cooler weather routine of roasting chicken each week and using the bones to make broth and a nice pot of soup. These soups tend to be "kitchen sink" type soups made with whatever is available. This week Farmer Don was soup chef and he created a chicken vegetable noodle soup packed full of end of summer and fall veggies. He even added some tomatillos we had harvested. I cannot complain, as the soup was tasty and we have leftovers for another meal. Last night we had a delicious tomato sweet potato bisque. This is an older recipe, I have made before, with the sweet potatoes adding a nice flavor to the tomato base. Last week we featured spinach in a salad of spinach, apple and sharp cheddar cheese, dressed with a balsamic maple vinaigrette. Another simple and tasty recipe which will be made again.
Please watch your email for the start of our winter buying club. If you have not already done so and are interested in participating in our winter buying club, please go on our website and purchase a free winter buying club membership.
I again want to take a moment to thank everyone for their support over the years. It is hard to believe this was our 11th season as Dancing Hen Farm. As I have said before we could not possibly do what we do without the support of our farm members, customers and friends. Thank you!