Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Week 9 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Welcome to Week 9 of our 2020 CSA.  Week 9 is an egg week.  Next Week 10 will be a chicken week.  So, if you purchased a chicken share you will be getting chicken on Wednesday, August 26th.

Such beautiful weather we have been having!  It almost feels like fall, but the calendar says August, so we know there is more heat and humidity to come.  But for now our windows are open and we are enjoying this cooler weather.  Have you noticed Mother Nature is starting to tell us fall is on its way?  The days have gotten noticeably shorter and the other day I heard the distinctive honk of Canadian Geese flying over the farm.  The hawks which nest in the tall pines across from the house seem to have moved on and I haven't seen the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks recently.  I have noticed some leaves starting to change color, but I am not certain if this is season or drought related. 

In the fields we are slowly transitioning to fall as well.  You can look for more greens becoming available as the weeks go by and we should begin harvesting winter squash soon.  Unless we get a very early frost, we should also have summer crops continuing, including tomatoes, peppers and string beans.  Farmer Don tells me our okra is finally starting to set fruit and he anticipates small numbers being available for Week 10.  We continue to watch our broccoli closely and the plants are large and beautiful, but still no heads being formed.  Cucumbers have been slow to set fruit as well and we are uncertain what the future harvest will be. 

As most of you know, each year we raise pigs in our abandoned apple orchard.  Over the years, I have really learned to like pigs.  Each year our small herd of pigs seems to have a unique personality.  We feed the pigs seconds produce from the farm and this year's pigs really like greens.  They also seem to really like taking a stroll and we have been struggling with getting our fencing set so they cannot escape.  This was very evident the other morning.

Farmer Don and I were watching the morning news while finishing our second cups of coffee and discussing the day when our phone rang.  An early morning phone call is often not a good sign.  This particular morning it was our neighbors.  It seems eight of our pigs were happily rooting around in their front yard.  Not a good call at all!  Farmer Don put on his boots and he and the dogs headed out across the field to fetch the pigs.  Rosie, our Border Collie, who is bred to herd and gather animals, took one look at the pigs, decided chaos was about to happen and retreated quickly to the safety of our porch.  Shady, our mixed breed, typical farm dog, showed her loyalty to Farmer Don and stayed close to his side, ready and willing to help.  Lucky for us the pigs seem to have bonded with Farmer Don and he was able to basically lead them, with the help of Shady and our neighbors back to their fenced area.  Now when the pigs go for what seems to be their daily stroll, Farmer Don carries a pan and stick with him.  He beats on the pan with the stick and the pigs follow him back home.  A bit like the Pig Pied Piper.  Rosie stills feels her role in pig herding is to watch from the safety of the porch. And Shady, our pig herder, eagerly helps Farmer Don by bringing up the rear and making sure the pigs continue to move along.  So if you visit our farm, don't be surprised if you see a pig parade being led by Farmer Don and his pan drum, with Shady bringing up the rear.

The sun is setting, supper is over and I need to finish the newsletter and move on to cleaning up the kitchen. 

As always, thank you for your continued support of us and our small sustainable family farm.

Be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies.  (and this cooler weather!)

Pigs resting up for a stroll!

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