June has been an amazing month at HiBar Ranch, Farm and Forest. This photo essay captures our amazing progress and bounty generated on our lovely farm in the month of June.
First, as you can see above, lovely spring brings forth a green bonanza with new green leaves, welcoming the start of farm life for 2016. We truly are enchanted by our farm as it springs to life each year.
The month of June has been full of sweat equity, as we call it, here at the farm. My husband mills his own lumber. With his milled lumber he built various products that are indeed lovely.
This month has also been one of landscaping and building retaining walls and gardening spots for my medicinals and vegetables throughout the landscape around the farm house. Below you see the retained planting area my husband built around “blessing”. Inside this lovely planting spot are medicinals for my apothecary. I do not sell medicinals, but I do make them and use them in my organic soap making and skin care products (which I do sell). Included below is echinacea, salvia, yarrow and bee balm.
The beautiful block work my husband did this month extends throughout the property and is incorporated around our chicken coop. This cute little set up is right next to our house, making it very easy to collect eggs each morning. Of course we have to have “Lay or Bust Poultry Feeds” as a humorous sign blessing the side of our coop! One must have fun in farming endeavors or you tend to get really tired, really fast. Humor makes our day. Outside of our coop are also trellises and climbing twine to support the burgeoning cucumbers that climb along with pumpkin and sunflowers. In a few months this coop should look like a vertical garden.
Our biggest gains this month are on two fronts: first, we are milking about a gallon of goats milk per day, (I will be writing a separate blog on our milk production and soap making) and second, our gardens. Below you can see our wonderful vegetable and medicinal garden literally growing by the second in this most amazing climate.
This year in our garden we are focusing on ‘vertical gardening’. As you can see from the pictures below, the large trellises support zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin and cantelope. The smaller tripods support cucumber. We have over sixty different items growing in this garden.
This garden is producing the following for us this season:
- Squash – butternut, yellow
- Lettuce – three types
- Onions – three types
- Potatoes – three types
- Pumpkins – lantern and pie
- Cucumbers – cutting and pickling
- Tomatoes – four kind
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sunflowers – two kinds
- Sweet Potatoes
- Corn – three types
- Bush Beans
- Climbing Beans
- Pac Choi
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Grass
We are also thrilled with the progress in our orchards. Our fruit orchards are producing strawberries (just finished), blueberries, marion berries, blackberries, black raspberries, about six different varieties of apples, two varieties of grapes, pears and nuts (pecans, hickory and black walnut).
Here are pictures of two of our apples producing now.
And below, our grapes are forming on the vines. We worked hard to put all our grapes up on trellises this last winter.
All in all, it’s been a magnificant June. Truly, to get so much food into ‘production’ phase is a huge spring effort. But indeed, it is worth it.
In the kitchen I am now busily processing our organic goat milk, collecting chicken eggs each day, harvesting medicinal and cooking herbs that I am drying and replacing last year’s herb containers with, baking zucchini bread with our fresh zucchini, baking homemade gluten free bread, and am collecting wild flowers for jelly making.
We couldn’t be more pleased, or more blessed. June has been a wonderful month at our farm. My next set of blogs will be on our homemade organic soap making, growing and using medicinal herbs and how to preserve your garden bounty.
Until then God Bless !!!