Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Helping Mommy with the plants.


Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Welcome to Week 18 of our 2020 CSA.  This is the final delivery for this year's CSA.  Last week, Week 17 was an egg week.  This week, Week 18, is not an egg week. 

A special note to Chicken Share Members:  We will be in touch with you personally to talk about the final delivery.  Our last batch of chickens have not sized up yet, so we were unable to deliver them with this week's final CSA delivery.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Sorry for missing last week's newsletter.  Life got a bit complicated last week and I honestly did not have the opportunity to sit down and even scribble out a short newsletter.  And I have to confess, I was secretly hoping Farmer Don would return as newsletter author for the end of this season.  But, it seems you are stuck with the Farmer's wife again.

After some cool temperatures over the weekend, it looks like warm weather is returning for a few days.  We bottomed out at 26 this weekend, so now our growing season is officially over.  Today is a beautiful spring/early summer day, only it is October!   Time to savor every sunny warm day and save up this feeling for those long grey winter days still to come.

Life with Dilly Bean continues to be a daily adventure here at Dancing Hen Farm.  This week she managed to drink Farmer Don's coffee!  And Farmer Don couldn't understand why she was a wild woman that morning!  And now she knows any mug or glass has a treat for Dilly and the possibility of a giant Dilly mess to be made.  And now we know all glassware needs to be kept well out of Dilly's reach.  We are learning most everything needs to be kept well out of Dilly's reach!  Last night while Farmer Don was packing boxes she managed to steal a dozen eggs and smash them all over the floor.  For this trick Dilly was rewarded with a squirt from the hose and a puppy time out.  Eggs are a precious commodity here on farm, so Dilly's little devilish deed meant Farmer Don had to head to the chicken house before sunrise and gather another dozen eggs for pack.  One of our customer's has Dilly to thank for a really fresh dozen eggs.

As I have done in other newsletters this year, I want to again thank everyone for the support.  2020 has not been an easy year for us or the farm.  It has been so nice to know we have such a supportive community rallying around our farm.  So thanks to each of you for your support, your understanding and your compassion. 

Please watch your email for the start up of our fall/winter buying club.  For now, Farmers Don and Phil will be at the Back Mountain Market at the Dallas High School starting at 9 am.  We will have eggs, some veggies and pastured pork for purchase.

I will continue to keep everyone updated on farm activities, but not as frequently as our summer weekly newsletters.

Thank you again and in the words of Farmer Don: "be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies".


Saturday, October 10, 2020

2020 CSA Week 16 Newsletter

Greetings from Dancing Hen Farm!

Welcome to Week 16 and a half of our CSA.  Week 16 was not an egg week. After last week's delivery there are 2 weeks remaining in our 2020 CSA.

The weather has been really beautiful lately!  Well, beautiful in the sense of nice fall days, but the lack of rain is not a good thing.  We are hoping that Tropical Storm Delta will bring us some soaking showers on Monday.  We need several days of soaking rain to even start to replenish our deficient water table, but even one day with rain will be a welcome sight. 

I have to apologize for this newsletter being so late.  I had been so proud of myself this season and getting newsletters sent out in a timely fashion.  But, that was before a Canine Terrorist moved to Dancing Hen Farm.  This little brown and black terrorist has teeth as sharp as needles and nails sharper than our barn cats!  Yes, Dilly is settling in and true to puppy form is ruling the farm right now.  Silly Dilly evokes images of a goofy little puppy full of puppy cuteness.  Oh she has plenty of puppy cuteness, but this cuteness is intermixed with a hyper active energy level which rivals an Irish Setter I grew up with. 

The other morning, while I was still upstairs getting dressed for the day, I could hear Farmer Don having a round with our little devil, err I mean angel!  Farmer Don is one of the most patient people I know, so if he was raising his voice, something was up.  When I made it down the steps, I found newspapers strewn from one end of the house to the other.  It seems Dilly found our wooden box of papers for recycling.  She decided the best game in town was to grab an entire section and run with it, allowing it to flutter and flap behind her like angel wings!  She would then stop and chew on the paper a bit, making spitballs any teenage boy would be jealous of.  As Farmer Don cleaned up spitball messes, she would dart back to the box, grab another section to start the game again.  The more Farmer Don said "no", the wider Dilly's grin got and the faster she ran with her angel wings.  So much for positive reinforcement training!  We managed to corner her and gave her a time out!  That paper box has been in the same spot for years and neither Rose or Shady were ever even curious about it!  Needless to say Dilly is keeping us busy.  Right now Dilly is laying innocently enough on my foot chewing her kong, only I know from experience, it is only a matter of minutes before she moves from chewing her kong to chewing my foot!

In the kitchen, Farmer Don has been using up tomatoes to make large batches of pico de gallo.  This fresh salsa is a true seasonal item and always a farm favorite.  I just need to watch that he doesn't make it too hot!  We have plans to make some sauerkraut soon.  I miss having fresh lacto fermented foods to eat.  Farmer Don and I both need to build up our gut health, so the sauerkraut will be a good start.  My sister and I also still have plans for some applesauce canning this fall.  Applesauce is a favorite between our two houses.  Speaking of apples, Farmer Don and I also need to make some apple crisp!  Another favorite!  Farmer Don likes his crisp with ice cream, but I like mine with just a bit of milk.  Apple crisp with milk was often how we ate apple crisp when I was growing up.

Between chasing a new puppy, we are still finding time to prepare for the upcoming winter.  I have been getting plants ready to bring inside to overwinter and Farmer Don has been shutting down irrigation systems and harvesting the last of our fall crops.  We are ready for the slower pace of fall and winter.  Hopefully the slower pace will allow for some rejuvenation of our energies and also allow some time for puppy training. 

So, I will end here with a vow to get this newsletter out before Sunday.  It may be late Saturday night, but it WILL be before Sunday!

Thanks again to everyone for their continued support!

Be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies!