If you are a member of the San Saba Garden Club…you were one of the select to receive an invitation to the Spiral Horn Ranch on October 4, 2011! Mark Hedley, his wife Michelle, and daughters Melanie and Sara have created a wonderland in northern San Saba County on their nearly 500-acre spread. Choosing San Saba County as their home after Mark ‘retired’ at age 42 - while he was young and had lots of energy! - from his career in hotel management, they have carved a niche in the community with the girls’ participation in many Richland Springs school activities, Michelle’s nursing career at the Brownwood Hospital and their combined efforts on the ranch.
Approximately 21 members and 5 guests caravanned to the ranch on a not too hot morning. After being met at the gate by employee Mike Cohn, the group gathered in the hallway of one of the multiuse buildings. Mark gave a brief overview of the different activities that are part of life on the ranch. Since we are a Garden Club he focused on hydroponics and his in-progress apiary. He is a fascinating and very knowledgeable speaker. In a short time we had learned the basics of hydroponics - growing in nutrient-rich water without soil - which Mark uses to grow some of the food used in meal preparation for guests as well as family. We also had a visual lesson in bee-keeping, though no bees are yet present. Much preparation is required to have an FDA-approved facility to produce and sell honey. Look for his brand – Spiral Horn Honey – in the next few years.
We then retired to the lodge, where Sara, who is a sophomore at Richland Springs High School, with the help of mom Michelle, had prepared gourmet treats for the group. Her sister Melanie, who is a senior at Richland Springs high school, aspires to be a chef and had baked the cake. The menu included Sara’s Salad hydroponics greens topped with blue cheese, blueberries and pecans; Shrimp Crostini; blue Cheese Canapés; Sweet Potato Chorizo Soup; Roast Beef and Avocado Finger Sandwiches and a delightful Honey Bee Cake. It was a beautiful and scrumptious presentation.
Those privileged to make the journey were members: Shirley Dickison, Sharon Hayes, Carol Littlefield, Debbie Shahan, Fran Hulgan, Marilyn Miller, Jamie Brister, Marcia Chown, Becky Moore, Becky Burgess, Bonnie Harkey, Imogene Hawkins, Clione Rochat, Anna Wilson, Ella Burton-Pavich, Trish Fullerton, Gail Bruner, Ann McElroy, Nelda Edgmon, Pat Belk, and Sherie Clarkson. Guests were Debra Coronado, Kathleen Hawkins, Donna Baker, Bill Burgess, and John, interested friend of the Burgess’.
Check out the Hedleys’ fabulous website:
It’s spiralhornranch.com. And to prevent being left out on the next time we have such a great adventure (or program) you too can join the San Saba Garden Club. Membership is open to anyone who is interested in gardening, and is committed to be a team player in the club. Call Membership Chairman Carol Littlefield at 325-372-3883 or firstname.lastname@example.org or President Ann McElroy at 325-372-4469 or email@example.com or any Garden Club member. We’d love to have you! Our next meeting will be our Zone I, District V all-day meeting at Soap’s Place.