Christmas in July

The berries have finished producing, the vegetables are about finished, there’s about a week’s worth of canning left to do and then . . . HONEY!

Busy summers like this make me thankful that fresh honey does not spoil. In fact it is the only natural food source that will not spoil! No wonder Holy Scriptures are compared to honey – because while they are always fresh, they never lose their power to do good for the heart of man. Just like some honey sources are not pleasant to the taste – not every truth contained in the Bible is easy to swallow, but it’s still good for you.

But back to harvesting . . . because there is so much that demands immediate attention during berry season, it’s a blessing that the sweet honeybees and their offerings can be flexible.

We’ve already harvested once – a deep box that was being rotated out of service as we transition into smaller (translate – easier to lift!) boxes. A large portion of this honey wound up in our specialty jams and jellies. (see Farm Produce Page). And because the strawberry honey was soooooo stinkin’ good, we gave it it’s own label.

2015 Strawberry Patch Honey

2015 Strawberry Patch Honey

The good news is – there’s more out there! So hopefully in a week or so we’ll be breaking out the equipment and harvesting that liquid golden goodness again!

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The Rest of the Strawberry Story . . .

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. And the day before that I decided to honor one of the new mothers in my family by sending her fresh strawberries. Being well into May in the Deep South, there weren’t many to be found, but since someone was traveling 8 hours to surprise her and I couldn’t go it was my way of sending some love. And sweet love it was!

Seems like nature sometimes shows off just a bit before moving on to the next thing. In the case of the strawberries, they were much more scarce, much smaller, and, much sweeter. They may have been the best berries of the season, and I knew my sweet daughter would taste her mother’s love in every bite.

But I was wrong about the strawberries being gone. Later that day due to some unforeseen honeybee circumstances I wound up removing a box of honey from a hive. A big, heavy full box of honey. And after tasting a bit I knew we’d be enjoying the strawberries much, much longer. Because that box was slam full of sweet, light delicious strawberry honey.

Some might call it nectar of the gods.

Manual Honey Extracton

Manual Honey Extracton

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TWO FOR TUESDAY

We want to thank everyone who came out and picked strawberries on our Saturday U-pick. There were very few berries left after the picking. The good news is that with the sun coming out we will have more ….the bad news is with the rain we have had there will be some rotten berries.

SOoo Tuesday we will have another U-pick day. We are going to call it 2 fer Tuesday. Why …. because at Hortons Farm everything gets recycled or re-used! We reuse rain water from our 5000 gallon rain tank. All of our scraps go to compost or the chickens, which brings us to the rotten Strawberries. If you will pick your good berries into 1 bucket and the rotten berries into a 2nd bucket we will give you your Organic strawberries fer $10 a gallon and the rotten berries you pick to the chickens instead of letting them rot on the vines or making a mess in between the rows for the next picker. If you would rather just pick your berries that’s ok 2 but they will be at the regular $15 fer gallon.

Come on out for 2 fer Tuesday U-pick from 9am until 6 pm as we start to wind down the 2015 strawberry season.

Yummm!

Yummm!

Firstfruits

Firstfruits

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Spring is Here!

And we’re so glad. The fruit trees are busting with blooms, the berries are putting out leaves, the strawberries . . . well, if you read my last post you’ve probably figured out they’re coming along nicely!

If you are new and not familiar with us Hortons’ or the farm, one thing you should, you *need* to know is that we are committed to growing and producing everything we offer as naturally as possible. For us this means a greater investment of time and resources.

It also means we have to be innovative. One example is Papa Horton’s rhubarb. For those who’ve not heard it, there’s quite the story behind it. A native Oregonian by birth, that hearty can-do pioneer spirit kicked in when he was told you couldn’t grow one of his favorite fruits in our area. It took him a good ten years and a lot of failures to figure it out with our sandy soil, but grow it we do and it is magnificent!

rhubarb

So we invite you to join in a healthier diet and a healthier lifestyle. Clean eating chemical free fruits and vegetables are a good place to start. And if you’re not convinced yet that conventionally grown “big farm” foods are a threat to health and well being, maybe the following will shed some light on the seriousness of the issue.

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Tasting Spring

I usually enjoy the winter months but I’ve not been able to say that this year. I don’t know if it’s been the record setting cold, the fact that I’ve not been able to quilt which I’ve cherished in past years, or just the fact that it has lasted so long, but this year I’m more than ready for it to be over.

And today, winter’s icy grip broke.

Because we picked strawberries.

The hubs decided it was time to take the row covers off the 2nd year plants he covered back in January before the first freeze. And what should we find that had survived all the freezing nights . . . but big juicy red ripe STRAWBERRIES.

strawberries5

There weren’t a lot of them, and all we can figure is that they were wind pollinated on some of those days when the covers were moving like ocean waves. But berries they were. And berries we will enjoy on our buckwheat pancakes in the morning. With whipped cream.

And my heart is happy.

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