During those 4-6 weeks when we are in full-motion-mode, my husband and/or I have been writing weekly newsletters, contacting and/or delivering to chefs almost daily, finalizing all details for our Garlic CSA members with them coming out to the farm for their early pick-ups, finishing all details for the applications for the four farmers' markets that we attend, actually getting to our markets fully-stocked with a smile on our faces and the ability to stand up for four hours and multi-task 3rd-grade math, questions about garlic scapes, and catching up with friends (even if we only had 4-5 hours of sleep), held our CSA potluck at the farm, held a U-pick day for the garlic scapes, trying to get our own garden in (in between late frosts and freezes), getting our chicks, mentoring a dietetic student, and a gazillion other things I have already forgotten because they got done or didn't or are still in progress (like a chicken coop, more electric fencing, cutting/raking/baling the hay from our cover crops). Oh, did I mention weeding?
The last newsletter for a month or so went out last night. If you are interested, here is the link. It does have a photo of our 7 week-old hens and the 1 rooster still remaining with us.
I made a very simple lasagna for our CSA potluck dinner this past weekend. Here is a photo (below) before it was cooked. There was no time to get a photo after it came out of the oven, because it was eaten that quickly at the potluck, with people standing around it asking "Who made the lasagna?"
On a day with lots of time (not during the summer), I would make my own super-sauce, but this time I simply used a jar of the sauce that we make ourselves from our home-grown tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. Use your own favorite store-bought or home-made sauce.
Ingredients (brands mentioned for helpfulness, I get no payments of any kind from anyone):
1-16 ounce jar pasta sauce (our own)
1-15 ounce can roasted tomato chunks (I used Muir Glen)
1-1# container of whole milk ricotta cheese (I forget)
2 eggs (from our friends at Bridgewater Barns Farm - in a few months we'll be using our own!)
6 ounce pre-shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Organic Valley)
smidgeon of salt
box of baked (ready to use) organic whole wheat lasagna noodles (Delallo - I used the whole box)
5-8 garlic scapes
Directions: (this is so easy, I almost felt like I was making 'Dump Cake', a processed-food recipe using 'boxes' and 'cans' of ingredients - I've only heard about this, never made it)
1) pour about 1/2 cup of sauce in an 9x13 glass baking dish
2) combine ricotta cheese and eggs in a bowl, mix well, add a smidgeon of salt and mix again
3) layer about 5-6 pasta noodles in dish over that first little bit of sauce
4) spread about 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles
5) spread about 1/2 of the remaining sauce over the ricotta
6) layer another 5-6 pasta noodles
7) repeat 4-6
8) over the top layer of pasta, drain the entire can of roasted tomato chunks and liquid, spread to even out
9) sprinkle the package of shredded cheese over the tomatoes
10) if you are fancy and flush in garlic scapes like we are, layer several garlic scapes over the cheese before covering with foil and baking 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
I know all recipes say to let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes or so before eating. Nope, we did not do that at the potluck. It came out of the oven, I ran it out to the barn, people dove in, and then the comments started coming. That was that! Really, I'm thankful I took a photo when I assembled it early in the morning.
Our food blessing at the CSA potluck dinner was our short and sweet one, without me needing to dash back to the house (again) for our book of food blessings plus my reading glasses:
We thank all hands and hearts that brought us this meal.
~~ Diana Dyer
So much else to do. :) Today I am taking a break (kind of) from farming and am going to clean out my car for the first time since we bought the farm. It's been four years. Kaya's nose-prints on the inside windows have been obliterated by Phoebe's and the general amount of dust, but I am going to try to vacuum and wipe off at least the top layer of everything.
No promises about when I can blog next. I still try to post short up-dates on our farm's Facebook page, so look for me there and in our farm's newsletter when it gets going again (sign up is on our farm's website at www.dyerfamilyorganicfarm.com).
Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD