Everyone has good intentions when it comes to cooking dinner. You want to ensure you get the right amount of protein, starch, and veggies for a balanced diet—and a healthier you! And while your intentions may be pure in the mornings, come nighttime, sometimes it’s harder to stick to it. If cooking dinners is the hardest part of your day, here are some tips for you!


Sometimes the hardest thing about eating a healthy dinner is committing. In the morning, you may be motivated and even excited about cooking a delicious, healthy dinner, but after a long day of work sometimes you just want to pour a bowl of cereal and call it a day. Commit yourself to a healthy dinner, no matter how tired you are. Chances are, the healthier you eat, the better you’ll feel afterward. End your night on a good note! To do that, you must commit!

Plan Ahead

Similar to committing, know what you’re going to make for dinner and stick with it! If you’re bouncing around food ideas in your head all day, chances are you’re going to give into whatever you’re craving by the time you get home. However, if you have a plan and you know you’re going to make some delicious chicken stir-fry when you get home, you have something to look forward to all day long!

Cut Veggies—ASAP

Going to the grocery store is stressful enough. By the time you make it back home and unload all of your food, you’re exhausted. But stick with it—cut all those veggies as soon as you get home! How many times have you skipped out on the healthier options, just because you hadn’t cut your lettuce or picked your grapes yet? Getting all of the side work out of the way now will ensure that you can make a quick, healthy decision later. Do it now—you’ll thank yourself in the future. 

Meal Prep

If you have any friends that are into CrossFit, the Paleo diet, or weightlifting, we’re sure you’ve come across this term. More often than not, it means taking a day (usually Sunday) to organize and portion out all of your meals for the duration of the week. You then put them in Tupperware containers and stick them in the fridge until it’s time for you to eat. It’s the same idea as planning ahead—you don’t have to waste time figuring out what to eat, it’s already there for you. All you have to do is heat it up when you’re ready.

Another version of meal prepping—if you’re looking for a “fresh” meal—can be to measure out everything you need ahead of time. Take whatever recipe you’re going to cook that evening, and measure all of the ingredients out in the morning. That way when the time comes for you to cook it all, you only have to toss the pre-measured ingredients into a bowl, pot, or pan and BAM—your fresh dinner is served.

Embrace Leftovers

As with meal prepping, sometimes you just need to embrace the microwave. The easiest way to make dinner is to pull last night’s leftovers out of the fridge and warm it up. There’s no shame in that!

Invest in a Slow Cooker

Everyone and their mothers swear by the slow cooker—and we’re no different! All you have to do is prepare the ingredients and the cooker does all the work! By the time you get home from work, you have a nice, healthy, home-cooked meal waiting for you. How can dinner get any easier?

Ask for Help 

You don’t always have to be Wonder Woman (or Superman). If you have kids, get them to help you! Not only does that take some of the dinnertime prep off you, but it also allows you to bond with your children while engaging them in cooking—a skill they will need and appreciate in the future.

This goes for your spouse as well. Rather than kicking them out of the kitchen for not being the greatest chef, ask them for help and show them how it’s done! Asking for help is a great way to bond with the family!


Cooking dinner shouldn’t be stressful, and finding fresh produce shouldn’t be difficult! At Orr’s Farm Market, we’re dedicated to providing healthy, fresh, and local foods that are a tasty treat. Be sure to check out our market for fresh fruits and veggies to add to your next meal!

It’s winter at the market, and our own fields lay dormant all around us. Our family defies the norm and we keep our market open throughout the winter. We get a lot of questions about why we stay open, but the main answer is for our customers—as well as our staff. Our customers rely on us to have the best of the best year round. But staying open in the off-season leads to the same question for many folks visiting us, “What can you sell in the winter?”

Here are some of our favorite winter items:

Orr’s Apples

Our apples have to be #1—of course! We have a nice selection of quality apples in our cold storages. They will stay in stock until around May or June when we sell out. We utilize regular cold storage and also controlled atmosphere (CA) storage to keep our apples in top shape. Read more about CA storage here. Don’t suffer through overpriced, and often less than tasty, supermarket apples!

Fresh Apple Cider

Apple cider gets us through the cold days, and we have it available all winter long! You can heat it up and add your signature blend of mulling spices for hot mulled cider. Click here for a recipe we like, or pick up some Wildwood Mulling Spice Blend teabags next time you’re in the farm market. These teabags make it quick and easy to heat a cup of hot mulled cider.

Local Greens

It’s hard to find local greens in the winter, so we’ve sourced some local lettuce from Cedar Ridge Hydroponics in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Our friend Jason Weber grows some of the best tasting Butter Lettuce we’ve ever eaten—and he delivers it weekly to our store! We’ve also begun sourcing local, farm fresh eggs from him as well. Try them…you won’t be disappointed!

Citrus Fruits

Fresh citrus is part of our winter MUST list. Who doesn’t love slicing into a juicy, flavorful orange in the middle of the bleak winter. There’s something refreshing, renewing, and revitalizing about the nutrients found in these fruits. Navel Oranges, Tangerines, Grapefruit, Honeybells, Blood Oranges, and Cara Cara Oranges are the current availability on citrus fruits.

We’ve sourced from Florida before Christmas in the past, and then switched to California citrus after the New Year. This year, due to Hurricane Irma, we’ve focused on just the California Citrus. Read More about Florida citrus crops here. As we move into late January, the Honeybell is the most sought after citrus fruit. Known for its incredibly sweet, juicy flavor, the Honeybell has limited availability—making it a hot item. My personal favorite is the Cara Cara Orange. It has a pink flesh and fantastic flavor for snacking. It also has high nutrient values and Lycopene, which make it a good addition to anyone’s winter diet. Read this interesting article about the Cara Cara Orange here.

Here are some recipes we’ve compiled on our Pinterest page for enjoying these delicious citrus fruits.

Florida Strawberries

Strawberries are just beginning for the season. There’s always special excitement for me when they first hit the shelves. We know our own strawberry crop is still months away, so it’s a treat to see the beginnings of another strawberry season heading our way. We get them in weekly and even cover them in chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

Trickling Springs Creamery

Trickling Springs Creamery has a loyal following in our area now. After years of carrying their products, a pattern has occurred to us. Every time the weatherman calls for snow, the community shows up at our door to purchase Trickling Springs milk and ice cream. How can you mind being snowed in when you’re holding a half gallon of their delicious ice cream?

Well, there’s lots more we could talk about, but you really should step out and see for yourself what’s at Orr’s Farm Market in the winter. It’s a wonderful time to stop, browse, and chat for a while. Orr’s Farm Market is peaceful this time of year, different from the hectic harvest season we often experience. The harvest is done and we are enjoying the fruits of our labor and the people around us!

Katy Orr-Dove, Market Manager

November…. is….finally….here.  Apple harvest season is winding down, and collectively we all take one big deep breath as our busy season ends.  As a farm family, seasonality is very normal for us.  However, every year it is still a struggle to complete the harvest tasks on time.  Each harvest year brings its own set of challenges and this one has been no different.  Our family has grown and harvested more fruits and vegetables this year than ever before.  A bumper crop is something to celebrate, now that all of the hard work is over.  We’ve picked over 450,000 bushels of apples and 100,000 bushels of peaches.  Our garden continued to produce vegetables all of the way through October, which was a nice surprise.

Our customers will notice that this year we’ve decided to leave our farm market open on Sundays in November. We’re making this decision because last year we noticed lots of folks coming out to buy apples on Sundays, only to find us closed.  The apples are in peak condition in November and everyone is wanting to purchase fruit for baking or canning this time of year.  We want to make sure you’re able to enjoy our fruit and bring your Thanksgiving guests out to see us.

This month we’ll begin to reflect upon our season, making notes about what worked well and what we’d like to change for next year.  Bonds among co-workers and customers strengthen as we all can relax a little and chat a while longer.  The market will get a good clean, and then we begin to prepare for holiday orders, citrus fruit, and greenery sales.  The scent of the farm market this time of year signals a change in the lineup.  It’s usually a combination of apples, hot apple cider, fresh pies, and holiday citrus.  A short spurt of holiday craziness is right around the corner. But for now, we have 3 weeks of relaxation to revive and renew us.

Now is perhaps the best time to say how thankful we are for our customers. Each season we are blown away by the community support and customer enthusiasm that we experience.  Making our guests happy is number one for us.  All of the changes you see at our farm are in response to requests and comments that you’ve made. Again, thank you for letting us do what we love! Take care and enjoy your rest time as well.

Katy Orr-Dove, Market Manager

Bakers don’t need a reason (or a season) to bake, but fall brings out a special zest for all things sweet. The fall is the peak season for harvesting apples, pears, and pumpkins, while the cool, crisp air allows for those sweet treats to cool off quickly. Here are a few of our favorite recipes if you’re ready to enjoy fall flavors even if you are a budding baker.

Two-Ingredient Apple Pie Cups

A new spin on a classic favorite, these apple pie cups are sure to bring a smile to everyone who takes a bite! These cups take no time to make, are 100% vegetarian, and are easy to share with the whole family. Bring them to your next big family get-together if you want to be the star of the show.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can of Pillsbury refrigerated flaky cinnamon rolls with buttercream icing
  • 1 1/3 cups of apples for filling, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Set icing aside. Separate dough into 8 rolls. Press into and up sides of muffin cups.
  2. Spoon two generous tablespoons of apples into each cup, filling into each dough lining.
  3. Bake 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer icing to small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on low (10%) 8-10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Place rolls on serving plate, spoon icing over rolls. Serve warm.

For fresh, organic apples, check out our market to make your apple pie cups as healthy and decadent as possible!

*Recipe Courtesy of  Pillsbury

Pumpkin Bread

With Halloween just around the corner, there are pumpkins everywhere – so why not have some in your bread? This next recipe takes just five minutes to make and would last you weeks if you could just contain yourself! Pumpkin bread is perfect for your morning toast, to spice up your lunch sandwich, or as a tasty after-dinner treat! Check out this simple recipe for some festive pumpkin bread.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 Cups Libby’ Pure Pumpkin
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • ⅔ cup Water
  • 4 eggs
  • 3⅓ cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 5 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg


  1. Mix Pumpkin, Sugar, Oil, Water, and Eggs in large mixing bowl until well combined.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Stir well, then gradually pour into large bowl of pumpkin mixture. Stir well to combine completely.
  3. Spray TWO 9×5 Non-stick Loaf Pans with Pam Cooking Spray.
  4. Pour mixture evenly into loaf pans.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes, or until done and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Enjoy!

*Recipe Courtesy of SERVPRO

And if you haven’t had enough pumpkin after all of that, come check out our pumpkin patches, open seven days a week! Get more information from our website.

S’Mores Cookies

What’s the best kind of snack to have around a cozy bonfire? A s’more! Don’t want to brave the chilly weather just to have a delicious fall snack? Try these s’more cookies! Perfect for family nights, kids’ sleepovers, and celebrating a home-team win, you’ll love how tasty and easy it is to make these little delights.

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Hershey bars, chopped
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


  1. Cream together butter and sugars; mix in egg and vanilla.
  2. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and chocolate chunks until well combined.
  4. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove and quickly press marshmallows into cookies. Return to oven and cook until done, about 3-4 minutes.

*Recipe courtesy of ChocolaTess

Don’t feel like making all of these sweet treats? Come on down to Orr’s Farm Market and check out our bakery! You’ll find fresh baked goodies all season long, including all of the above delicious desserts. You can even order specific items for pick-up in our store! Call 304-263-1168 or send a message to place your order now!

It’s already mid-October, and although summer temps stuck around, it seems like fall weather is finally here to stay! With winter looming in the not-too-far distance, it’s time to take advantage of the breezy weather while you still can. Here are some fun and festive outdoor activities you can do while you can still enjoy the fall weather:

  1. Make Your Own Apple Butter

Apples are a big fall fruit favorite, and they come by the bushels! What can you do with all those apples piling up at Orr’s? Make some homemade apple butter! Apple butter is a great addition to toast and the perfect, healthy topping for a decadent dessert. Afterwards you can make a delectable apple cider to keep up with your fall spirit. Try one of our favorite, simple, low-calorie recipes here.

  1. Pumpkin Picking

What could be more festive than picking pumpkins for your own jack-o-lanterns? Carving them yourself! Hitch a hayride to one of Orr’s Farm Market’s pumpkin patches to find your perfect pumpkin, and stick around for some other fun activities like a corn maze and festive goodies. Check out our website for additional details and pumpkin patch hours, and take a look at our last blog to learn how to carve your perfect pumpkin!

Don’t feel like carving? Maybe you feel like eating! After all that fun fall weather outside, maybe you want to relax with a nice, scrumptious treat. You can cook those pumpkin seeds on a stove top for a light, nutritious snack, or you could bake those pumpkin guts into a pumpkin pie just in time for Thanksgiving!

  1. Hiking

So you really love the outdoors, huh? Fall is the perfect time to explore nature, hiking, and biking trails near you! Grab a friend, pack a lunch, and lace up your boots! Here are some local day hikes in the area that will get your heart pumping, with stunning views that will leave you breathless:

  • Maryland Heights Trail – Harper’s Ferry, WV
  • Annapolis Rock Trail – Boonsboro, MD
  • Black Rock Trail (just past the Annapolis Rock vista) – Boonsboro, MD
  • Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock Loop Trail – Catoctin Mountain State Park, MD
  • Washington Monument Trail – Washington Monument State Park, MD
  • Any of the trails at Gambrill State Park – Gambrill State Park, MD
  1. Ghosting

Ghosting is a best-kept secret played in small neighborhoods with young children. First, you’ll need a few things:

  • A plastic jack-o-lantern bag (like what the kids use to go trick-or-treating)
  • A paper with a picture of a spooky ghost
  • Fun and festive holiday goodies (candy, toys, small decorations, etc.)
  • A paper with ghosting instructions for your neighbors
  • Tape

After you’ve got all that, it’s time to start ghosting. Here’s how to pull off ghosting in your neighborhood:

  • Pack your pumpkin full of goodies
  • Make a copy of the spooky ghost paper and tape it to the window by your front door so that everyone knows you’ve already been ghosted.
  • When it gets dark outside, pick a neighbor and sneakily leave the pumpkin basket of goodies on their front porch. Make sure you don’t ghost someone who has already been ghosted!
  • As your neighbors pass it on, see how many spooky ghosts pop up in your neighborhood over the next few days!

These are just some of the many fun activities for you and your friends and family to try out this fall. Make sure to take advantage of the nice cool weather while it’s still here, and come see us at Orr’s Farm Market, open seven days a week, located at 682 Orr Drive, Martinsburg, WV. Happy Fall!

The leaves are changing, pumpkin spice lattes are back, and the kids are in school. Fall is finally here, and there is one thing that’s on everyone’s to-do list this year: carve the perfect pumpkin! So grab your coziest flannel shirt and hitch a ride on the nearest hayride, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know when it comes to carving a plump pumpkin this season.

What You’ll Need:

  • Newspaper
  • Pumpkin carving tools (knife, scooper, detail skewer, etc.)
  • Tape
  • Design
  • Candle and lighter
  • Your perfect pumpkin

How To:

  1. Pick your perfect pumpkin! Check out the plump pumpkins at Orr’s Farm Market, open seven days a week with hayrides departing every 30 minutes. Check out our website for additional details about pumpkin patch hours.
  2. Once you get home, put down newspaper where you plan on doing your carving. You don’t want to get those pumpkin guts everywhere!
  3. Using a knife, cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin.
  4. Start scooping! You’ll want to clear out as much of the pumpkin seeds and stringy guts as you can to make sure your candle stays upright. Pro tip: you can bake the pumpkin seeds after for a yummy treat!
  5. Tape your design to the “front” of your pumpkin (the part you want to show off to the world).
  6. Use the detail skewer to poke through the design paper to your pumpkin. Make sure the dots are close enough together that you can follow it once you take the paper off.
  7. Take the design paper off and use that knife to start cutting! Be careful when popping out the pieces, especially with an intricate design.
  8. Once you’re done carving, set the candle inside the pumpkin, take it to the front porch, and light the candle. Violà! It’s time to show off your pumpkin to the world!

The first step is always the hardest, but it doesn’t have to be! At Orr’s Farm Market, not only can you find your perfect pumpkin in one of our pumpkin patches, but you can also navigate our small corn maze, pose for goofy photos as some of our favorite produce, and still walk away with a goody bag full of fun! Our pumpkin patches are open every day! Check out below for patch hours and pricing deals. Happy hunting!

Orr’s Farm Market Hours Pumpkin Patch Hours of Operation:

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Patch closes at 6 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Patch closes at 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Patch closes at 6 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Patch closes at 4 p.m.

Pricing ranges from $7.99/person to $3.99/person. Children ages 2 and under can enter the patch for free! Get details on pumpkin patch packages right here.


As always, while we’ve been hanging on to the last threads of summer, September snuck right in. We had a grand time in June, July, and August. Now we’re ready for another season full of activity and events.

Fall is special. As it arrives, it brings about a certain excitement and feeling of comfort. Maybe it’s because it signals so many changes: the air cools down, we start trading shorts for jeans, school’s back in session, and holidays are on the way. Here on the farm, fall’s warmer colors and colder winds are a welcome symbol of great things to come. We celebrate the season with new crops and good times.

Don’t miss our annual Fall Farm Fun Days. This year it takes place the weekend of September 23 and 24 (Saturday and Sunday). As every year, we have a lively festival planned, including bluegrass music, homemade food and baked goods, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, craft vendors, and children’s activities. For more info, click here.

Local, seasonal fruits don’t end with summer. Make sure to visit us this month! The most well-known fall fruit is of course the apple.  We’ve got ‘em crisp and bright in September, just in time to pack in school lunches and pile high in apple pie!

We will be hosting a Bin Apple Special September 16-November 26.  This is your chance to mix and match homegrown West Virginia apples for a discounted price! Pick your own out of bins and get the perfect combination of varieties. If you’ve never tried a mile-high apple pie, go for it this year. Check out a recipe right here.

Another autumn crop is the pear. Harvest begins in September and continues through October. Pears tend to take a backseat to apples in popularity, but they’re just as versatile—and certainly delicious. They’re great in savory dishes, like this pear-gorgonzola tart. In their raw form, with a softer in texture than apples, pears are a good choice for younger kids who are still learning to eat whole foods.

Orr’s Farm and Market is prepped and pepped for what’s to come. We look forward to a season of newness: crops, recipes, events, and, of course, new friends. Happy fall!


Name: Samantha Powers
Job Title: Supervisor
Job Description: Customer service, driving forklift, opening/closing the store, etc.
Why I love working at Orr’s: 
Out of the many unique things about Orr’s, I love the true sense of family it provides. This is my third year here, and it’s awesome to see each department working together every day to ensure quality produce is sent out the door to our customers. I’m also grateful for the lasting friendships made here with coworkers, as they truly seem more like family. We go out together often and stay in contact with each other outside the workplace. Orr’s embodies the true definition of family and that is what I love most about working here.

Her favorite fruit: Definitely the cherries. Not only are they nutritious, but they are tasty and easy to pick.

Favorite item from the Market: I have two favorite items here at Orr’s. The first would be the Peach Habenero Salsa. I made pork tenderloin for dinner one night and we used the salsa as part of the marinade before cooking it and as a condiment when serving. It was delicious! My guilty pleasure item would be the chocolate chip whoopie pies; if I could eat one every day I would, but that doesn’t quite fit in my meal plan.

Favorite season at Orr’s: My favorite season at Orr’s is pumpkin season. Not only because we get so many types of pumpkins, but because there is so much going on at the store. We have bluegrass music on some weekends, pumpkin patch field trips, the famous apple cider doughnuts, and our annual Fall Farm Fun Days. I always look forward to that weekend because there are so many neat vendors and everyone working together just makes it have a special kind of energy.
Hobbies: In my free time I enjoy fishing, spending time with friends, and going to the gym to work out. I love fitness and health, so it is fitting that I work at a farmer’s market, where there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to pick from.
How Orr’s has impacted Sammy as a person: Before I was hired at Orr’s, I was very reserved and quiet. Working here has allowed me to “break out of my shell.” Now I thoroughly enjoy running register and answering phones, because it allows me to interact with customers and it is really neat to hear their stories. I also have gained so much knowledge on the produce we sell and the details on each variety, which will greatly aid me when I leave for Marshall University this fall to study Dietetics. All in all Orr’s has taught me so many job skills and life skills that it seems more than “just a job”- it is a special part of my life that I’ll always value.

A Trip to Iowa

Visiting the I am FarmHer Convention in Des Moines, Iowa was an opportunity to leave my farm and make connections with other female farmers. I would encourage female farmers, ranchers, ag business professionals, and anyone even considering farming to look to the 2018 convention for motivation, networking, and educational speakers. Not to mention making some lifelong friendships through a shared love of farming.

When Mr. Steve Butler called to ask me if I’d be interested in being one of two female farmers to represent West Virginia at the inaugural convention, I jumped at the opportunity. Normally I wouldn’t leave the farm during harvest season, but I was flattered that he asked me and also excited to see a part of our country I had not seen yet.  Then I asked if I’d be able to take my younger sister, Olivia Orr,   as well. She had recently returned to help at the farm, and it seemed like a great trip for bonding and learning about our family trade together.

Conventions are one of my favorite ways to learn current trends in agriculture, and I try to attend them every year during the off season. I did not study Agriculture in college, which I have regretted.  I returned to our farm in 2006 to manage the retail market after leaving a 5-year career in Elementary Education. Since then I have gained a wealth of knowledge about ag business and agritourism, mostly through trial and error, conventions, classes, and studying what others do well.  I still remember one of my customers asking me, “How do your parents feel about you leaving your profession to work at the farm market?” I politely explained that farming IS my profession and my parents were actually quite happy since they are farmers as well.  Since that day I’ve tried to show that what I do for a living is indeed a profession by trying to better myself and my family business at every turn. As I watch my sister entering the arena of agriculture as a woman, I want to help inspire and educate her to reach her goals as well.

The Only Orchardists out of 100 Attendees!

We boarded the plane, not really sure what to expect. But we knew we had a few days off from work to get to know ourselves and each other better. Upon arrival in Des Moines, we immediately met some ladies who were waiting on the airport shuttle, and we giggled because we recognized that we were all farm girls headed to the convention. As we traveled to the hotel, I noticed that most of the other ladies in our group were in the beef, pork, poultry, and row crop industries.  Later we would realize that we were the only orchardists in the group of about 100 women. There was one other lady from West Virginia, Britney Hervey Farris, who we would later meet at dinner. She has a farm called “Family Roots Farm” and we were able to chat a bit and discuss her maple syrup and her recent venture into the world of pick-your-own berries.

The opening of the convention was a welcome that featured the T.V. series highlights from “FarmHer” that was shown on RFDTV. I had seen it a few times and found it interesting. However, Marji Gyler-Alaniz , the founder of FarmHer left us all speechless when she showed “So God Made A Farmer,” the popular Super Bowl Ad.  She explained that as powerful as the imagery is in that ad, she was struck by the lack of women in that advertisement.  That’s when I felt an overwhelming kinship with these women in the room that is hard to explain. I’ve been the minority so many times. Whether it be as a woman in ag, a farmer amongst many “professionals,” or a West Virginian judged by folks from other regions. Don’t get me wrong, I never give that much thought, but this was the first time I was part of a group of female farmers who were THE SAME as me! Even though we are part of agriculture in different realms of the industry, we all share a love of farming, and it was palpable in that room.

10 Habits of Highly Effective Women in Agriculture

Throughout the three days, I spent in Iowa there was a number of classes and speakers that left lasting impressions on me.  My favorite was called “10 Habits of Highly Effective Women in Agriculture” by Jeanne Bernick.  “Our Political Reality” by Amanda DeJong of the American Corn Growers Association highlighted how we should be more involved in Washington by sharing our voice. We can do this individually through letters and feedback to Congress, but we can collectively share our voice through trade organizations and groups like WV Farm Bureau.  Holly Hoffman held a class called “Lead Simply” which went over leading and communicating effectively.  There was also a tour of The Meredith Corporation, home of many publications including Better Homes and Gardens.  Then we dined in Downtown Des Moines which I found very fascinating.

My take away from this event has been large and lasting. I came home to West Virginia energized by the amount of great advice I received. However, I was astonished by the opportunities I saw highlighted for women just like me in the agriculture industry.  Sometimes farmers become limited to our fence rows due to the large workload that comes along with our career choice. However, getting out in the world to see the opportunity that awaits us is so important.  I know my sister felt energized as well to bring some new ideas to our family farm.  I plan to attend this 2018 FarmHer convention to see the friends that I made this year and continue to educate myself….because farming is a profession!

What’s a great meal that can be made in a flash and feed quite a few? Lasagna! As an Italian food staple, we can’t wait to celebrate National Lasagna Day on July 29th!

If you’re going to get in on the celebration, want to take your dish to another level? The next time you’re at the market, come by and pick up some homegrown tomatoes.

We’re thrilled that they should be available on July 29 so that you can celebrate National Lasagna Day with your own special sauce. The best tomato varieties for sauce are Opalka and Roma tomatoes. If you want to make sure you’ll have what you need, give us a call to be placed on our canning list.

Email orrsinfo@gmail.com or call 304-263-1168 and let us know which type you prefer! Heirloom Mix, Yellow, Red Round, Roma, or Opalka. You can also specify if you want #1 or canning tomatoes.

Tomato Pricing

$25.00/ half bushel box for #1 tomatoes

$12.50/ half bushel box for Canning Tomatoes

When making your own sauce here are a few tips:

  1. Using whole milk or heavy cream will help thicken the sauce. All you’ll need is a splash of either option and then let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
  2. Add a little red or white wine. Adding a little wine gives the sauce a bit of acidity and amazing flavor. The best part is, you can sip on the rest at dinner!
  3. Add red paper flakes. If you like a little spice, some red pepper flakes will give your sauce an extra kick.

If you’re ready to make lasagna dinner on July 29, here’s the recipe we’ll be using:


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

7 cups chopped peeled tomato (about 4 pounds)

2/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cooking spray

8 cooked lasagna noodles

1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil


  1. Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and garlic. Cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomato; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 2/3 cup basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Heat ricotta in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot; stir in mozzarella, stirring until melted. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Spread 2 cups tomato mixture in bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half the noodles over tomato mixture; top with ricotta mixture. Arrange remaining noodles over ricotta mixture; top with remaining 2 cups tomato mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon basil. Let stand 5 minutes

**Recipe courteous of myrecipe.com

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for July 29 so you can come by the farm to prep for National Lasagna Day. Send us comments and let us know how it turned out!

Photo Credit:David Kessler. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0