WEEKENDS ON THE FARM!
WEEKEND AT HEAVENLY HILLS HARVEST FARM
Make our farm your farm in a full Saturday of intensive activities, to increase knowledge and skills for a lifetime of memories and new ways to be part of our world. Extra time on the farm available for those arriving Friday evening and staying Sunday for independent enjoyment.
We have a mile of frontage on the Yakima River, a major tributary of the Columbia, a salmon river we are helping to restore to greatness. We are surrounded by vineyards and hops fields and beyond by orchards of all kinds. Snipes Mountain dominates our view to the north, where in the late 1800’s young Ben Snipes once surveyed the area and declared it the most fertile land he had ever seen. This teenager went on to become the West’s wealthiest cattle baron. Then the farmers came, making the valley between Rattlesnake Hills and Horse Heaven Hills into a patchwork quilt with fences, and the space we now call our farm changed from over-grazed land to a new battle against nature, with crops planted from corner to corner. In that process there were no safe havens left for wildlife of all sorts, that include needed organisms living in the soil, insects, including those that pollinate crops, reptiles, fish, mammals and birds whose activities above, below and on the land complete a sustainable habitat. The soil became deadened. Deadened soil needs harsh petroleum-based fertilizers to grow crops, but in such weakened condition they cannot grow well enough without medications, supplied by toxic sprays.
Come and experience what we have been doing in our mission to make changes, adopting the strictest organic practices combined with restoring soil, water, and air to benefit human nutrition but also wildlife interests, a philosophy that can be copied in miniature in cities, in suburban yards, or rural homesteads.
For maximum benefit of learning we have programs on separate weekends for adults only and families only. All sessions will include in the price evening pizza and music, and instruction in bee keeping, backyard poultry, and beer and root beer making with additional topics throughout the day appropriate to the growing and harvesting season.
The day begins with a morning description of how a sustainable farm is put together. All will enjoy walking tours of barnyard, hen house, and high tunnels and welcoming by our miniature donkeys, and a hay wagon tour of the rest of the farm, seeing the growing fields, pollinator borders and the work to return our river bottom land to its natural state to support the survival of salmon and other life.
Then hands-on classes in many skills will be given morning and afternoon with lunch break. A taco truck will come to the farm for those desiring to purchase lunch.
2016 SCHEDULE – April through October
GETTING READY FOR SPRING PLANTING
4 weekends scheduled for Adults (A) and Families (K):
April 28 (A) MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND and May 14 (A)
May 7 (K) AND JUNE 4 (K)
You Can Eat That? Foraging For Your Supper
Meet your neighborhood microbe and other critters: (hands-on investigation of what good soil looks and feels like)
How to make backyard raised beds (what kinds of plants to avoid i.e. neonics)
Why beekeeping is such a great idea!
Preparing vegetables for afternoon snacking.
What is Compost? Should you make it?
What is compost tea and how to make it.
5:30-7:30: Pizza dinner – choose your topping for pizzas cooked in outdoor wood fired oven, for open-air dining, lemonade, tea and water provided; Local winemaker will have wine for sale by glass or bottles. Bring Your OWN other Favorite Beverages!
Followed by music and dancing in the barn.
At ten p.m. the farm shuts down, but evening strolls and star gazing are great activities for those who still have energy to keep going.
JULY OFFERINGS (dates TBD)
(A) PLANTING, CULTIVATION, HARVESTING AND DRYING HERBS, AND BEER MAKING. BEE KEEPING.
(K) SPECIAL FOR KIDS- MEET YOUR MICROBES; BOTANY IS THE DANCE BETWEEN , CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY, BEE KEEPING IS FOR EVERYONE!
OCTOBER – MULCHING BEDS, HOOP HOUSES FOR SEASON EXTENSION AND OVERWINTERING……
Bring a cooler for Saturday evening farm store purchases of organic eggs and vegetables in season. Farm grown grain and honey also available for purchase.
ACCOMMODATIONS: there is space for motorhomes and campers (some with 50 amp electric hookups on first come basis) and tenting (with outdoor shower for the brave and modern portapotties), starting Friday evening for early arrivers; otherwise accommodations in Best Western Motel, located approximately 5 miles away. On Sunday’s, with permission (meaning we know you are on-site and more or less where), guests can walk the farm, sticking to the roads as the fields are planted and tender, fish, take photos, paint pictures, bird watch and relax. This is a good day also for visiting neighboring wineries, the Chukkar Cherries in Prosser, driving to Bickleton to see a graveyard with remains of those who came on the Oregon Trail, or driving into the Horse Heaven Hills to see huge acreage farming there for wheat and potatoes.
We don’t have motor home sanitary stations – but a very nice one is close by in Sunnyside. Groceries and other supplies are in Sunnyside.
COST: $360 PER COUPLE. EXTRA GUEST, $100. $360 PER FAMILY OF 5; EXTRA CHILDREN $50 EACH. IN FAMILIES, ADULTS PARTICIPATE WITH THEIR CHILDREN AS CO-TEACHERS AND CO-LEARNERS.