Here it is folks, the culmination of year one full year planting and harvesting at Leafhopper Farm. This dinner is made from food on the land. The lamb was born and raised here at the farm. It is rubbed in dry herbs that were grown here last summer and harvested in the fall, dried, and used throughout the winter months to add flavor. The meat rests on a bed of caramelized parsnip harvested on the land in late February. The only thing in the meat dish not from the land is pepper, salt, and olive oil.
The salad is even more special, because the flamingo chard has been growing through the whole winter in our cloche. It is a hardy green, and very delicious, both in the raw as seen here, and steamed. Another green in this salad is cilantro, which has recently bounced back from a very mild winter. Our dressing was a light vinaigrette, infused with chive blossoms and garlic from our garden last summer. This salad is full of rich, fresh greens harvested in March. It feels so good to have greens through the winter!
The greatest triumph was going to a large grocery store and browsing their organic produce section. There was only one green (red romaine lettuce) that I was not already cultivating on the farm. Seeing my own gardens offering what I could find in the store was wonderful. We didn’t need to buy produce! What did we buy? Well, grains, cheese, and some fizzy water.
Grain continues to be a challenge. The winter rye I planted a few months ago is still slow in coming up. Granted, many ground gleaning birds have hung out in the bed from time to time. I wonder how much of the sewn seed was predated? The rye might have been compromised in other ways, such as mold, old seeds, and improper sewing. However, there is still time for the seeds to sprout. The bed will continue to be monitored still early summer. If there is still no sign of sprouting rye, new grains will be planted.
Cheese will be a slower development, as honing the goats to become milkers will take time, and the farm will need more support from others interested in tending a full milking herd. For now, when our one breeding doe is bagged up during her kidding, a little milk can be taken, but not enough for much cheese. Perhaps in time, the land will support a milk herd and a shepherdess to tend and milk them. As a single person, tending the rest of the land, animals, and veggies is enough for now.