Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!
Welcome to Week 12 of our CSA. Week 12 is not an egg week. After this week's delivery there are 6 weeks remaining in our 2020 CSA.
Even though we still are getting some warm temperatures, I can feel the change of seasons in the air. Days are shorter, night time temperatures are getting cooler. Hard to believe how quickly September is slipping away. Soon I will be mentioning the "F" word - frost that is. We generally get a light frost towards the end of September and our killing frost usually follows sometime in October. I am anxious to see how this summer's drought affects the leaf show this fall. We are seeing some trees already losing their leaves without ever changing color, but a few trees are already starting to show some color.
So a surprise was delivered to me the other day - a new camera! Thanks to one of my sisters. So does this mean I now have a hobby? Well, I do have task - learning to use this new fancy camera. I have not used any camera other than a point and shoot for many years. Things are gradually coming back to me, but I am still as farmer Don would say "busy learning on the learning curve". But, I have been having fun. I have a zoom lens for it, so recently I have had the zoom attached and am trying to take some pictures of birds at our feeders. Unfortunately I am finding I may not have the patience for avian photography! But I do have a good pictures of a blue jay, of Shady, of Shady's paw and of farmer Don walking down from the barn. So hopefully I will get some pictures I can actually post for all to see.
I am not sure if I have touched on Social Media yet this season? But as long as I am posting "for all to see", this is a good time to let you know about some of our public pages. We do have a facebook page where I post pictures and some farm news. https://www.facebook.com/Dancing-Hen-Farm-111155465564952/ I also have a blog where I post our newsletters and also pictures of the farm. http://dancinghenfarmcsa.blogspot.com/ I did have a pinterest site, but have not been keeping it updated. I am trying to figure out an instagram account without a smart phone. I have an account, but have posted nothing to it? That is about as far as I go with Social Media, so if you are online check out our sites!
In the fields we have started to harvest winter squash. Last week we had butternut squash available. I like to use Butternuts to make a pork, apple and butternut stew from the Simply in Season cookbook. This recipe was a favorite of my Mom's when she lived with us, so I am surrounded by good memories whenever I make it. Some of the problem with butternut squash is peeling, seeding and cooking it. These squash are hard and often hard to handle. I usually get Farmer Don to cut the beast in quarters for me and then I scoop the seeds, peel and cube it. If I don't need cubes or diced squash I cheat and cook the squash whole. I poke some holes in the skin, put it in a shallow pan with a bit of water and roast it in the oven. It will take an hour of more for the squash to soften, but once easily poked with a fork or knife, remove it from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin and add the flesh to your soup pot. This week I think Farmer Don will be harvesting Spaghetti Squash, so get your recipes ready. Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash, but not nearly as tough to handle as our friend the butternut. I like to use a spaghetti squash recipe I have made for years, a casserole recipe from one of the older Moosewood Cookbooks.
The canning kitchen is officially open. I canned tomatoes the other week and my sister and I froze sweet corn this week. I also boiled some of the spent cobs to make some yummy corn stock for use in soups this winter. We may still try to do some tomato sauce, but my sister and her family have a small vacation coming up and then with social distancing following their travels, we may run out of time for canning. But, we will do applesauce once they are out of self imposed quarantine!
The cooking kitchen is also open. I tend to eat a lot of eggs - eggs and potatoes, eggs and greens, etc. Eggs are quick nutritious meal for us! And we are also starting to move into soup season. Last night I made a tortellini soup; a bit of a variation of a green soup we make. Basically it was a chicken broth and tomato based soup with garlic, eggplant and tortellini. Farmer Don ate two bowls, so I guess it passed his taste test! Farmer Don came home from market the other week with mushrooms and made a really delicious mushroom risotto. Life is good when the kitchen is producing nutritious and delicious food!
Ok, it is getting late, I still don't have supper started and Shady has started to bark for her dinner. I need to print this newsletter for Farmer Don to proof and then get it posted and sent out later tonight.
As always, thank you to each of your continued support of our farm.
Be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies!