Welcome to the Hortons Farm homepage. If you’re new, we are a family owned farm in southeast Alabama. If you’ve been here before, grab a cup o’joe or your favorite tea and visit a few minutes. It’s just the two of us and a few critters most here of the time, but it’s NEVER boring.
For starters Ros has taken on the responsibility of managing a local Farmer’s Market. When the founders found themselves at a crossroads in life the only logical thing to do was turn admin over to someone else, and having been there from the start and a little business savvy it made sense. If you’re local to the Wiregrass (and if you’re wondering what that crazy word is, you’re not) check out marketatdothan.locallygrown.net.
Farm wise, the rhubarb is coming up, the strawberries are ripening, the summer kale has been in the ground a week and the Campbell’s tomatoes were planted yesterday. Romas and sweet banana peppers will be arriving any day. We LOVE eating fresh whole foods and between what we produce and what we get from other local farmers well . . . we’re fairly spoiled!
Our honeybees have been enjoying the warmer weather. Most days they are out and about bringing in nectar and pollen preparing for the impending nectar flow. Right now I’ve got syrup for splits ready to go and as soon as Easter is over will be working on that. One thing I’m especially excited about is introducing one of my favorite long lost cousins to honeybees in the near future. “Bill” carried me around as a baby. It’s my turn to help him get started in something he’ll dearly love and I’m looking forward to it!
THANK YOU for dropping in. We hope you’ll nose around a bit and if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, etc., just holler!
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.