In order to catch you up on the goings on around here this summer, I need to tell you about the Open House that we had here on the ranch on June 18th.
Now, before you start bellyaching that you didn't know about it or wasn't invited... don't worry, we are having another one in October! Date to be determined...
Dan the Man and I have been wanting to have an Open House here at the Open A Bar 2 Ranch for some time now. This is not our first one, some of you chicken customers will remember the one we had a few years ago when we raised heritage turkeys. Actually that was in 2008. Anyway, I'm getting off the subject.
Dan the Man and I want our customers to feel as the Open A Bar 2 Ranch is "their" ranch. We want everyone to be a part of what we are doing out here and to get to know us and our operation on a personal level. We want our practices to be transparent.
The Open House was on June 18th. People who had pre-ordered chickens for Batch #1 we able to pick up their chickens at the open house. But that was not all. I decided to invite several of our "farmers' market" friends to also come set-up and sell their wares. We had 9 vendors who came!! They included the following: Diane Edwards with Wind Harvest Farms who brought some of their most delicious strawberries! Dan Weitzel, with Mitchell Valley Farm (a local CSA) who brought some yummy radishes and information on his CSA. Nancy Butcher, Jams and Jellies Just For You, surely you can figure out what she brought. Flower Field Farm, Nathaniel & Rylee McGown, who had free ice cream cones made with milk right off their dairy. Sarah Pinet, you know her as the "goat cheese lady" of Victory Hill Farm, brought her delicious cheve and other goat cheeses! Jennie Salters, Chalk Butte Pottery, you know the awesome chicken roasters... (see this post, and yes, Dan the Man bought me another one!) Laura and Jim Whelchel with Double L Country Store came with their goat milk products such as lotion and soap along with a vast array of other neat-o stuff. Beth Everett of Meadowlark Hearth CSA brought veggies and seedlings such as lettuce and last but certainly not least Jane Sedman, who you know as the bread lady or Mama Janes' Artisan Breads, who has the best buttermilk cinnamon raisin swirl bread on the planet.
We had our own mini farmers' market going on out here at the ranch. Thanks again to all of you vendors who came!!
The Open House started at 1 pm and of course, wouldn't you know it that a storm moved in around 1:45 or so. We are talking wind, rain and hail folks! Actually it would appear as if "Wind, Rain and Hail" seem to be this summer's theme! Thank goodness we had room for everyone to get out of the storm in the shop and studio. People were great and just moved inside and visited.
Dave & Laura Whelchel, Double L Country Store waiting out the storm.
Picture also courtesy of Katie Bradshaw.
Picture also courtesy of Katie Bradshaw.
After the storm cleared, we continued with the festivities. I was afraid that the storm would put a quick end to the open house, but when the sun came back out, the people began to come out as well. Some even told us that the radio had reported a tornado sighting in Stegall which is 3 miles east of us!
Dan the Man gave tours of the operation to several people who went out in two groups. That was after the storm... good thing we had plenty of rubber boots to share! The children loved seeing all the baby chicks and the baby calves.
We had plenty of help with the open house. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law (Nick & Sarah) were here on vacation, Chris came home from Kearney for the weekend to help, Danny's parents (Bob & Penny) came down from Colorado, and Danny's sister and brother-in-law (Carla & Jim) came up from Casper. My sister, Lori, bought and helped me plant several flowers the week before to help pretty-up the place. Too bad most of those flowers got destroyed in the July 2nd storm.
Anyway... I think it is fair to say a good time was had by all. We had a wonderful turnout and can't wait to do another on in October. I hope I can convince Dan the Man to offer hay rides! We will also invite vendors. I can see it now... hay rides, hay castle for the kids to play in, pumpkins, gourds, indian corn for sale from the vendors, apple cider, cookies, smoked chicken, bonfire for making s'mores... awww yes!! Come on FALL!