We were invited to a Honey Harvest. We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew, from the invite, there would be food, drinks, music and maybe some honey. As we arrived, there were lots of cars turning into the road leading up to the ranch. We parked, grabbed our chairs and cooler and made our way up the long driveway to the barn. We found a nice shade tree to put our chairs under, then continued up to the big tent and barn. On the left of the tent were four huge grills with skirt steak cooking. Inside the barn was a very large batch of Margaritas, a samples of the honey that had been harvested the night before and many collectibles the family had gathered over the years. Beyond this barn was the horse stables and a large garden. There were about 200 people milling around having quite conversations and enjoying the warm summer evening.

It wasn’t long before The 3 Trails West Western Band started playing. The music floated over the grounds making people tap their feet and swaying to their songs. The band played western swing, classic cowboy music, and music of the silver screen. The 3 Trails West name came from the departure point in Kansas City area for three historic western routes: The Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails. While the band played, an artist painted and tickets were handed out for a chance to win one of his paintings.

The hostess was very kind to show us her home located a short distance from the tent and barn. The house was warm, homey, comfortable and made you feel as if you’d love to just stay right there. We were told it was a passive solar home. We did not know much about passive solar buildings. In case you don’t either, this is what it means. Based on the movement of the sun, passive solar buildings have windows on the southern facing side of the building in order to absorb the sun’s energy to warm the building during the winter. In order to stay cool in the summer, the building is built with an overhang shielding the windows from the sun. Also, trees are planted to give shade to keep the building cool. Simply by building in this way, a house can reduce its heating and cooling costs by 85%. Steve, Dee and I agreed it would be a wonderful house in which to live.

A few years ago, I started hearing about the worldwide decline in bee numbers. So I got a couple of bee houses (not hives) and planted plants to draw the bees to our yard. We had lot of bees flying around and several used the houses to lay their eggs. My small part for the bees. The host of the harvest, however, have done much more. When they purchased the land it was out in the middle of nowhere. In recent years, the land has become an island in the middle of numerous housing areas, schools and shopping centers. With all the new developments the bees were not adjusting. So the hives, they had started years ago, had to be moved to the other host land. Now the two families are co-bee keepers and have been hosting the Honey Harvest gathering for about 25 years.

We sat under the big tent with Holan, Derek and his family and ate a wonderful Mexican meal. There was so much food we almost couldn’t move! There was cake and cookies for dessert. The fresh honey with crackers topped off the evening. I’m not sure I have ever had fresh honey. But I do know that I have never had honey like this before. Words cannot describe the taste and the feel of it on your tongue.

As the evening came to an end, we gathered up our chairs and cooler and hopped on a golf cart to be delivered to our van. What a perfect evening!!

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