Thursday, July 16, 2020

CSA Week 4 Farm News

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Welcome to Week 4 of our CSA.  Week 4 is not an egg week.  Hopefully everyone is enjoying their veggies!  And since I am late getting this newsletter out, Week 5 ordering is open!

As usual, some CSA notes to start the newsletter.  Please remember your CSA box is labeled with your name.  The name which you used when you registered for your 2020 share.  If there are any issues with your pick up site or your home delivery, please email us at the farm.  

You know by now that right about now in my newsletters, I talk about the weather.  Today brought a cool cloudy day to the farm, but before today we had a nice string of a couple of beautiful days.  Clear, with a nice breeze and cooling off a bit at night.  Perfect weather for me to spend time on our back porch watching nature and the goings on of the farm.  Also perfect weather for me to get some laundry done.  I like to hang my wash on the line and the threat of storms a week ago kept me from trusting my laundry would not get a second rinsing!  However, if the weather predictions are correct, it seems the hot and humids will be back by the weekend and into the first part of next week.  I cannot complain, this is summer in Pennsylvania!
Our fields are looking good, although as is usual for this time of year a bit weedy.  The first planting of beans is coming to an end, with our second planting growing nicely.  Peas are pretty much done for the year.  Zucchini and summer squash continue to be harvested.   We are starting to pick cucumbers.  We should continue have some nice kale available.  We are also bringing in some beautiful chard right now.  We are hoping to keep potatoes available for the duration of the season.  Peppers and eggplant have been planted and we are patiently waiting for them to produce fruit.  Again thank you for your patience as we work hard to get product to you  this season.

Farmer Don and I always feed the birds.  Year round since we moved to Dancing Hen Farm.  We enjoy watching them and notice the changes in species as the seasons move along.  This year, however, I have a new feeder, a hummingbird feeder.  I have had  a hummingbird feeder in the past, but never found the time to keep it clean.  After reading how dirty feeders can actually kill hummingbirds, I decided killing off hummingbirds kind of defeated the reason for having a feeder!  I threw the feeder out and the next year decided to plant more plants hummingbirds like.  This year I have a bit more time on my hands and decided it would be a good year to try a feeder again.  So, we found a simple feeder which seemed easy to take apart and clean.  And I have been loyally keeping the feeder clean and changing out the sugar water.   More importantly, we have really been enjoying watching the hummingbirds.  We have discovered that hummingbirds really do seem to eat a lot - either that or we have a whole flock of humming birds hanging out on farm!  We have also discovered that hummingbirds actually like to perch - perch when they eat, perch on my clothes line, or perch in nearby trees.  I have never observed them perching so much before, sometimes I am convinced Dancing Hen Farm hummingbirds must be extra tired and lazy!  Hummingbirds are also quite brazen, flying very close to us, often right at us!  They will eat from the feeder with us standing right beside it, seemingly unfazed by humans.  They are also quite territorial and will dive at  and chase each other if two try to eat from the feeder at the same time.  And I am reverting back to my childhood! When I was a little girl my Dad fed the squirrels and I named them, convinced I could tell them apart.  Now I am convinced I can identify some of the hummingbirds from each other.  At least I haven't started naming them -- yet!

Enough about hummingbirds -- on to the kitchen.

In the kitchen - preserving has begun.  With lots of beans coming in this week, I got out the blanching pot and started freezing.  Previously, this year, I froze some berries for use in our winter smoothies.  I am feeling a bit more energized this season, so maybe I will ramp up the preserving kitchen this summer?  I already know we will be canning tomato sauce and apple sauce.  We also have plans to can some peaches this year, if we can find peaches.  This was a hard season for peaches.  In my preserving dreams, I will also make zucchini relish, zucchini muffins to freeze, catsup, can some whole tomatoes, make a small batch of tomato relish and freeze corn.  And I need to dry some herbs this year, as my stock in the freezer is getting low.  I will keep you posted if any of my dreams become realities!

So it took me an extra day or two to actually sit down and write this newsletter and now it seems I can't stop going on and on!  So I will end here.  Thanks to everyone who actually read this to the end!
And as always thanks to each of you for your support of us, our farm and sustainable farming.

Be safe, be well, and enjoy those veggies

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