Mother’s Day on the Farm

Spring has come to the mountains and one after another the plants have bloomed.  The crocus started early, followed by daffodils, soon after that were the apple trees and this week the rhododendron have taken front stage.  Yellow azaleas are just beginning to show while the lilacs prepare to bloom. After a long slow winter, spring seems too fast.  I want each bloom to stay longer.

For us at the farm is also the time of mothering.  We have 2-week old chicks peeping in the barn. Already their feathers are starting to come in, creating new designs and colors.  Sugie, an angora goat, gave birth earlier this week to a gorgeous grey and white male, Nugget.  This is her last, as she’s at the age where it is kindest to let her retire.  For the first time, she needed help during the birth. For a few days we helped give Nugget a strong start by milking her and bottle feeding him.  He is now nursing from Sugie all on his own.  Boy, are we grateful!

Meanwhile, we are anxiously checking and waiting on our other pregnant goats (Lucy, Wendy, and Gretel) to give birth.  All three are young and experienced Nannies.  And if that is not enough to send us all into a fit of baby goat bliss, Bonnie, our Great Pyrenees,  is due with puppies in the next week.  There is nothing cuter than fluffy white puppies.









It is an honor and continued source amazement to be a part of the birth of animals. It never ceases to take my breath away.  Life creating new life in its own time and way.  Our newly hatched eggs took only 21 days to incubate, Bonnie will be pregnant for just 8 weeks before she gives birth and the goats gestate for 5 months before their kids are born.

In the midst of this season, I am very aware of time.  As the waiting for labor stretches the minutes long, the parade of blooms speed up the days and in the moments of witnessing birth, time stands still.  Life is full of wonder.

Wishing you a happy spring and Mother’s Day, 
Lee Rankin
Writer, founder of Apple Hill Farm, & unapologetic entrepreneur

 PS. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook or Instagram … now is good time to join in. We promise we will fill your feed with cute baby pictures!

Agritourism Works!

Saturday, May 4 we kicked off our class and event season with our Agritourism Works! Workshop.  We really enjoyed meeting all of our participants and helping them work through the beginning stages of planning or improving their agritourism farm. Are you interested in opening your farm to visitors?

We will be hosting another workshop this fall!
-A down and dirty look at the nuts and bolts of Agritourism
-A behind-the-scenes tour of Apple Hill Farm
-The 4 Keys to starting and running an Agritourism farm
-Interactive workshop time to create or refine your farm vision

Bees Wrap Food Wrap is our new favorite product!

The natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage – because good food deserves good care.

Wrap cheese, half a lemon, a crusty loaf of bread, and fruits and vegetables. Cover a bowl, or pack a snack for your next adventure.

Made with organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. Bee’s Wrap is washable, reusable and compostable.

Learn more here:

Summer Tour & Store Hours (mid-May to mid-October)
Tours at 2 pm Daily, 11 am Saturday Morning
Store open 10 to 4 Monday to Saturday; 12 to 4 on Sunday

Summer Events (through end of July)

May 18: Apple Hill Farm Open House 10am-4pm 
Tours on the hour from starting at 11am to 2pm

May 25: Memorial Day Weekend
Saturday, May 25 tours at 11am, 12:30pm & 2pm
Sunday, May 26 tours at 12:30pm & 2 pm.

June 1: Alpaca Shearing Day Open House 10am-1pm
$5 for adults, ages 11 & up. Ages 10 &; under are free.

June 8: Knitting with the Alpacas 10am-12pm

June 15: Photo Tour 9am-11am

July 6: Photo Tour 9am-11am

July 13: Knitting with the Alpacas10am-12pm

July 20: Photo Tour 9am-11am

From Cooking Up A Storm by Jane Lee Rankin
Yield: One 8×8-inch pan
400° Oven


  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) package of vanilla wafers
  • 4 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

Method for pudding:

  1.  Sift the flour and 2 cups sugar into a medium-sized pan.
  2.  Add the milk a little at a time, stirring until all the ingredients are well combined.
  3.  Beat the egg yolks, add to pan and mix.
  4.  Add the butter (in stick form) and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly and making sure the mixture does not stick around the edges.
  5.  Soon after the butter has melted, the pudding will begin to thicken. Continue to stir over medium heat until it gets to pudding consistency.
  6.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Method for meringue:

  1.  Beat the egg whites on medium speed until they are very foamy. Beat at high speed, pausing to add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a peak.
  2.  Layer the bottom of an 8×8- inch glass or aluminum pan with some of the vanilla wafers.
  3.  Slice 2 bananas thin and layer over the vanilla wafers
  4.  Pour half the pudding over the bananas.
  5.  Make another layer of vanilla wafers, banana slices, and pudding and line the edge of the pan with the last of the vanilla wafers.
  6. Spoon the meringue on top. Spread to outer edges and form decorative peaks.
  7.  Bake on top rack at 400° for about 4 minutes, until the meringue starts to turn golden brown. Watch carefully and rotate the pudding dish halfway through browning.

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