Spring has Sprung at the Ranch!
Cucumbers, summer squash, corn and more – Spring planting has begun!
We are saying goodbye to our cover crop and turning it back into soil or putting the sheep to graze on it. Our cover crop has served us well by holding in water over the winter, keeping the ground aerated with its roots, and fixing nutrients into the soil as we turn it under, either manually or with the help mobile fertilizers – the sheep. We loved watching it bloom this spring and fill the ranch with butterflies and birds that it attracted. We also got to harvest lots of beautiful wildflower bouquets. In its place we are busy planting our summer vegetable crops.
Our most ambitious crop this summer will be our heirloom corn crop – a full acre’s worth…that’s a lot for our little farm! We are most excited about some unique seeds brought to us directly from Oaxaca, Mexico by one of our farmers. Although we will be planting a variety this season. As we did last year, we plan to dry much of it on the stalk and grind it into our delicious cornmeal.
News From the Barnyard
This spring there’s lots to report from the barnyard as well. We are excited to announce that Trixie is ready to become a mama cow. Now we just need to find the right bull. We do have a few leads. But Trixie decided to take matters into her own hands (hooves?) by escaping the pasture to find a mate from the neighboring herd. Thanks to the quick thinking of our neighbor who was driving down the driveway, she was stopped in her tracks. She thanked him by violating his shiny red Tesla! You can’t make this stuff up folks. Don’t know why she thought his car was a bull but whatever.
We Got Ducks!
Truth be told, I have avoided adding ducks to our barnyard due to childhood trauma. It was my chore to take out the trash as a kid and the route would inevitably take me past our nesting mallards. The protective parents would chase me and peck at my legs as I tried to get to the trash cans. If you’ve never been pinched by a duck bill, count yourself lucky! But I decided to get over my grudge when I got a call from a woman in the city who could no longer keep her 4 ducks. The day they arrived, I was smitten. 4 females and no male meant no ducklings to protect. Just eggs. And those eggs have been snapped up on a regular basis by a local chef, so the girls are even paying for themselves. We love them so much that we decided to add 10 more to the flock as ducklings. Cuteness alert – lots of duckling photos to follow!
Adding to the Chicken Flock
This spring we also added 25 chicks to our flock of over 50 chickens. Our egg demand always exceeds our production so we are hoping these little ones will grow up to be good layers. And yes, our eggs are that darn good. If you haven’t tried them yet, just watch our events page for farm stand dates and hours or message us so you can get in on this egg action. We are doing a lot of community events this summer so we will be easy to find if you can’t come out to the ranch.
Massages for the Horses (Of Course)
Our volunteer Susanne is still coming out on the regular to give our lucky horses some fascia blasting massages. This is old man Marley’s favorite thing. And handsome Hayes seems to like it too. Us farmers are a little jealous honestly.
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Hidden Canyon Ranch is located between the cities of Buellton & Lompoc, just off of highway 246 in rural Lompoc. 5425 Campbell Road, Lompoc, California 93436.