Hope you are enjoying the summer weather spending lots of quality time outside maybe even getting out of town! Woohoo, finally right?! Our family has escaped the farm for a quick vacation to the beach visiting family after a year and half of not going anywhere. It's nice to be away, but boy is it hard to leave. But I'm pleased to say we got through the spring planting season and can now enjoy our break somewhat guilt free. Here's a little update of what we've been up to at the Anthill and offer up a sneak peek of what's to come this summer!
This month the ants were super busy installing a Biodiversity planting at the Himalayan Institute, a globally renowned meditation and yoga retreat center based in Honesdale, PA.
It is a 3 acre planting of Native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses in a hay field approaching their main campus. In donating this planting we hoped to make a positive environmental impact in a place that holds a place in our hearts. Sky grew up at the Institute and it holds a lot of fond memories for he and his family, we also share a commitment to sustainability and renewable energy.
We're happy to announce that it's looking great. Wildflowers are already starting to pop up as trees and shrubs begin to take root and get a foot hold. Our hope with these plantings is to seed the environment with rare and important native plants that will attract and help to nourish wildlife such as pollinators and song birds. The design of perennial rows provides ample light for trees to grow without creating a closed canopy, allowing flowering plants and grasses to grow and prosper as well.
These Biodiversity plantings are a new direction for our farm and one we hope will blossom and lead to new relationships. These plantings are a great way for landowners to improve their land by jumpstarting the local ecology. In the coming years we hope to be able to market these plantings to landowners especially those with land in conservation. We also plan to donate more plantings to non-profits! Owner/ Farmer Sky Ballentine is studying how to these plantings impact biodiversity on many levels and hopes to gather data in the coming years to support his hypothesis that these plantings will create explosions of life. Our passion is getting these amazing native plants out into the environment and keep generating more biodiversity.
For this installation alone we grew out over 25 varieties of native plants from seed and we recently potted up the many extras. We plan to host a native plant sale this summer and again in the fall. Look out for updates on upcoming sales, we'll probably pair these up with a farm tour too :)
This month we also planted out our hemp crop for the year. The seedlings are looking really good and weather has been cooperative. Here's hoping for another great growing season for the hemp. This year we are growing a few new varieties, Hawaiian Haze, Super Special Sauce (bring on the funk! ) and Suver Haze, along with the tried and true Lifter and some White CBG. So we'll be offering you flower connoisseurs some new flavors to try. In other hemp news we've been working with designer Mag Sampson of m.luce_design to create some new packaging for our pre-rolls and CBD teas. The new style will integrate many hand drawn images of trees and plants from our agroforestry rows and biodiversity plantings. Can't wait to launch these beautiful designs for our customers later this season.
Now that all the plant babies are in the ground it's time to start thinning the fruit on the Asian pears, peaches and apple trees. It's not a bad way to spend an afternoon up in a tree... we call it monkey brain time, a little tedious but great podcast work. Thinning is essential to growing big healthy fruits, and decreases disease and pest problems too. It's looking like a good fruit year, the peaches are finally coming into their own too. So looking forward to peaches!!!
Product spotlight: Yard balm
Not to toot my own horn here but this salve is seriously awesome. It's not my witch powers, the super powers are all in the herbs. CBD from hemp reduces swelling, pain and inflammation. Calendula, heals skin ailments and cuts. Plantain takes away sting and itch rapidly, Comfrey is a wound healer extraordinaire. Chickweed moisturizes dry skin and soothes eczema. It all goes to say Yard balm is the bomb for bug bites and other itchy rashes, reducing swelling and itch quickly. We have two kids that are constantly getting bites and scrapes and we use it on their skin all the time. I'm always amazed at how quickly it clears up marks and scabs too. Yard balm replenishes your skin with essential nutrients found in the botanicals and organic oils we use. It feels so soothing and healing, I use it on my face and skin everyday as a moisturizer.
All Body Care products are on Sale through the end of the month 15% off with Promo code: Junebug
All right I'm off to the beach... Thanks for following us as we grow!
Happy Independence Day!!