Garden bounty galore and Fourth of July DECORATING!!! Too fun it’s been this last week.
At HIBar Ranch, Farm and Forest we are as busy as bees as summer finally arrives.
I type this with my husband working our New York ranch in Upstate New York, preparing the bee hives for my first harvest next month. The bees are busily working and our hives are doing extraordinarily well this year. Our hives are a key part of our farming operation as I sell both honey and use the honey and wax for my woman’s healthcare products including soaps, medicinal tea kits, salves and candles. He is also working our fields and forests as we are maintaining a burgeoning sugar bush that requires care as it matures into harvestable sap sized trees (ten inch diameter trees). Last, he is tagging the trees we will be milling this year for our forestly business for custom milling of pine, cherry and poplar.
While he is tending to our New York ranch, I am at our Tennessee location milking our goats and harvesting a huge array of produce at this time.
As you can see from the photos, the gardens (vegetable, medicinal and fruit) gardens are doing extremely well. I have my dryers running 24 hours a day now in order to dry my medicinals. I will begin to blanch and freeze my greens this week. Since I love to sell Calendula Salve, I keep harvesting calendula blossoms every day and getting them in the dryer. I have an oil infusion going on my window sill now so it is ready when I harvest my honey and wax next month from our New York ranch. Above you see a collection of yarrow, bee balm and red clover for my medicinal making. Additionally there are day lilies and honey suckle that I will infuse with hot water for wildflower jelly making. I am also milking twice a day and have more milk than I can imagine for soap making, yogurt making and cheese making I’ll be doing this week.
The photo above shows all the pork fat I rendered last week to prepare for the organic goat milk soap making I will be doing later this week as well.
All in all, this is my busiest time of the year. While my husband does all our infrastructure build and repair, timber/lumber harvesting and milling, equipment maintenance and livestock feeding for both our ranch and our farm, I do all the milking, shearing, fiber/wool cleaning and carding, rendering of fat, honey and wax harvesting, soap, salve and tea making, drying, freezing, garden collection & weeding, canning and sales and marketing. Yes, we are both TOTALLY busy.
We are so thrilled to be so productive and be able to generate such a huge bounty of food, medicine and natural resources on our ranch and farm. We so love this way of life!!
Being married to a disabled veteran also makes me truly appreciate the 4th of July beyond all measure. It is very important to us that we always take time to truly celebrate the 4th, which of course starts with decorating. Here are some photos of the decorating we did on our farm this weekend to prepare for the 4th of July.
We hope you enjoyed our week in pictures as we busily work here at the farm & ranch. We enjoy giving others a “view” into our life as farmers/ranchers who are committed to living and working with the land in a sustainable ‘footprint’ friendly way. It’s truly impressive how well our soils do when there is a commitment to organic and chemical free and how healthy our family is and our products are. It’s a wonderful way to live!
We want to wish you all a great summer and a happy fourth of July. We are truly blessed to have the freedoms we do in this great country and they are worth fighting for. Our independence is a true gift that’s been fought hard for and requires the same continuing efforts to preserve.
May the Lord bless you and keep you well this week!
God Bless. L. Davis