Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!
Welcome to Week 7 of our CSA. Week 7 is an egg week. I wanted to take a moment to talk about substitutions. Please remember that Farmer Don (and our associate farms this year) are making harvest predictions on crops almost a week before the crop is harvested for your CSA box. Some times for reasons beyond the farmers control when we go to harvest the crop is just not ready. Perhaps fruit did not mature as we had anticipated or maybe an insect or disease has destroyed the crop. When this happens, Farmer Don is forced to make a substitution for the unavailable crop. Your patience with this is greatly appreciated. As I mentioned in the past, this growing year has been one of our most challenging on many levels.
I hate to say this, because I know our neighbors to the east and south of us did not fare as well with the recent tropical storm. But, wasn't yesterday's rain beautiful! Here on farm we received about an inch and a half of nice steady rain. A very needed rain. By evening, when the sun came out, I think I could hear all our crops collectively sighing over the relief this rain brought. We feel blessed to have gotten this much needed rain.
We are hoping this rain will push along some of our crops which seem to not be maturing as we had hoped. Look for a second harvest of string beans coming soon. With the rain we are hoping cucumbers will be available in larger numbers soon and hopefully summer squash will continue to mature and be harvestable. We are hoping the rain also will bring about some more harvestable eggplant. Peppers are now being harvested and hopefully will be available for a number of weeks to come. Lettuces and cooking greens should respond well to the moisture and cooler temperatures, so will continue to be available for CSA boxes and market. Winter squash is in the ground and the plants are growing nicely. We are watching the broccoli closely and hoping it forms some heads in the next few weeks. A second planting of scallions should be available in a week or two.
"You need a hobby". This is the latest prescription being handed down by several of my doctors. I politely smile and say "yes", trying hard not to laugh. Laugh, because for years my family and I joked that my hobby was cleaning the house and doing laundry! I was working a full time off farm job and basically also working full time for Farmer Don. My free time was spent on household chores. And I didn't really see anything wrong with that! However my life has changed a bit in the last year. The doctors are correct, I am finding myself with spare time on my hands and I am having trouble adjusting to that. So, at the doctors' suggestion, I have been contemplating hobbies. I suggested cleaning out my closets. This brought hysterical laughter from my family as they told me "hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable". I told them I would really enjoy those clean closets! They were not going for it. Continuing on the closet theme, I suggested getting my old work office switched from its current status as a walk in closet into a farm office. Reactions to this suggestion didn't even warrant a laugh, just "a look". Then I argued I do have some hobbies. I preserve our harvest with canning, freezing and pickling and I have a nice houseplant collection and in the summer add potted herbs and flowers to this collection and I love to read. At least no one disagreed these were hobbies, but everyone encouraged me to look for a new hobby. I have thought about photography and have been researching upgrading my old 33 mm to a dSLR camera. I have also considered crocheting and knitting, maybe finally getting started on the afghan I bought yarn for several years ago. In reality, I still haven't decided on a new hobby or hobbies to add to my life. But, those closets still need cleaned out!
Our kitchen is still pretty quiet. I haven't done too much preserving yet this year. I am patiently awaiting the ripening of paste tomatoes so we can get started on our first sauce for the season. And of course, it will be a few months before we start making applesauce, one of my favorites. We brought an old reliable recipe out last week. Kale, sausage and garlic roasted potatoes. This is a recipe we make often and as the weather cools it will become a weekly item. The nice thing about this recipe is any leftovers are great with eggs either as a hearty breakfast or another supper. This recipe is from a favorite cookbooks, Serving up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman. If you like cookbooks and you are not familiar with this one, I would suggest looking it up.
Speaking of the kitchen, it is getting near suppertime. I need to print this so Farmer Don and proof read it for me while we eat and hopefully I will get it emailed out to everyone this evening.
As always, thank you to everyone for your continued support of our small family farm and local sustainable agriculture.
Be safe, be well, and enjoy those veggies.