Broken Bow not only offers a wide variety of outdoor and historic sights, but we also have a number of unique small businesses and products. For this post, we’d like to introduce you to HoneyBear Ranch: a small area business that began as a simple garden farm providing naturally grown vegetables and herbs, but grew into a trusted area resource for information, education, and on-site community gardening services.
Phil and Sandy Harris came to the Broken Bow area in 2005, choosing the ranch as a retirement property with the idea of self-sufficiency and a relaxing lifestyle. Sandy, who had always been happy “digging in the dirt”, was excited to turn gardening into a full-time passion, with occasional kitchen respites to create jams, jarred vegetables and more. Phil has a knack with both plants and animals, and the ranch was the perfect place to use these gifts.
But they soon found themselves interested in sharing their bounty with others in the area and opened their Garden Market in 2006. Since that time they have developed the ranch into a small local business, adding two greenhouses (one hoop house and another larger structure) and an indoor Garden Center sales area by the end of 2009. Sadly, the Garden Center was destroyed by unusually heavy snowfall in 2012. Plants are now offered in an outdoor sales area while structures are being rebuilt.
What can you find at HoneyBear Ranch? Eggplant, peppers, okra, onions, potatoes and more than 35 varieties of tomatoes can be found at their respective harvest times. Sandy also offers a small variety of jarred treats including tomato sauces, relishes, pickles, and whatever other yummy treats she dreams up in the kitchen. All grown items are naturally grown with no chemicals or weed killers; all fertilizer is natural, provided by the resident livestock. Speaking of livestock, the ranch also occasionally offers beef and pork culled from their own herd.
Not only does the couple offer tasty vegetables, treats and heirloom seeds, but they also host a small number of events at the ranch. Each February brings the Spring Planting Festival and each September brings the Fall Planting Festival. During these free events, presenters offer educational discussions on topics like soil fertility, growing methods, when to plant, garden planting, saving seeds, how to plant and prune trees, and so much more.
And if that isn’t enough, the ranch also hosts a Community Garden for anyone who is unable to plant a garden themselves, but long to have a garden of their own.
In 2010, Kim Rebek from Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Gardening visited HoneyBear Ranch to talk about the business. Check out the segment on YouTube to hear the HoneyBear Ranch story from Sandy herself.
If you would like to experience Oklahoma agriculture at its best, visit this beautiful and bountiful ranch during your Beavers Bend Creative Escapes cabin vacation! HoneyBear Ranch can be found just northeast of downtown Broken Bow at 897 Redwood Road – look for the red-tailed windmill, leading you from the main road to the barn! The ranch is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and on an appointment-only basis on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.