For those of you who are already tracking the “Berry Barometer” on this year’s Festival Page, you know that the warm, dry winter and the late frost crashed our berry harvest. Last year, we harvested 200 gallons, this year we’ll only have 5-6.
You can catch up on the videos through our YouTube Channel Playlist “Mayhaw Berry Harvest Festivals.”
It’s not happening just here at Golden Acres Ranch, either. We’ve been hearing it from people around the whole region. A woman from Texas called looking for berries because her usual source lost his crop this year, too. Well, this is ‘Reality Farming.’ Some years just don’t work out. Bobbie says it’s only happened once before in the last 17 years.
Still, the Festival goes on! And we hope you all will come out and share this ‘unBerry season’ with us. Bobbie and Charissa are making up jelly from the last of our frozen berries, so you won’t do without this special, regional treat. There’s some baking of Mayhaw Cake going on, too, filling up the house with good smells.
And here’s an idea. We’ll give out cups for you to go out and find berries. You can keep what you harvest, and we even found a recipe for dessert sauce you can make with just a cup of juice.
Log Cabin Tours
Speaking of the house, we have a special surprise for log-home lovers this year. Tours of the House for $5 each. They will take place at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm both days. Okay, there, we said it! Now we have to clean the house.
Activities & Local Vendors
If you are a regular, you know that we will have hay rides with farm tours. Ours is a working goat and sheep ranch. You’ll see some young’uns in the pastures, as well the tiny mini-myotonic goats that are just as small. You can buy cups of feed and let your kids enjoy the petting area. We also have myotonic, or Tennessee Fainting Goats, that are ready to sell for pets, meat or livestock breeding.
We have a lot of chickens right now, which are fun to watch. There will be corn hole games, a basket ball hoop and hammock as well as picnic tables to enjoy your day out.
Melinda and Bob Copper have new art to show; clay masks. They’ll have their custom cards, too. They are responsible for much of the painting and artwork around the ranch. Be sure to take a good look at the walls in the Country Store. Melinda and Bobbie created the neat effect.
Clear Lake Farm will be here this year! They will have a variety of USDA pork products: sausage, chops, Boston butts etc. The hogs are forest-raised on our farm. They’ll also have goat milk soap, and cheese which is non-GMO and made at the farm with raw milk. And maybe some organic produce from our garden.
Johnston’s Meat Market‘s mobile kitchen will be here, featuring catering pro, Ursula Wuerner. Johnston’s sandwich menu will be available as well as Mom Golden’s curried goat, a favorite with our Festival-goers.
Looking for local ag or residential property? All Realty Services is new to us and asked to be a part of our Festival. They are a locally-owned and operated real estate brokerage firm serving Jefferson county, Madison county, and the surrounding areas. They will set up as an informational booth where you can leisurely talk to them about the home and property buying and/or selling process, and what properties are available right now.
The Country Store this year is stocked with jelly, of course. We also have our fresh, frozen, USDA-processed lamb and goat. Cuts include ground and cubed bone-in of lamb and goat, plus cubed boneless and leg roast of lamb, and shanks and leg (ham) of goat.
You can see the big loom Bobbie is working on, and even try your hand at rug weaving.
So, lots planned, lots to see and do. And this is just the half of it. Keep up with everything at mayhawberryharvest.com