By Sherrie Norris
The second Annual Honey Harvest Hoedown in Deep Gap is just around the corner and promises to be an event you don’t want to miss. On Saturday, July 27, from 4-7 p.m., the High Country community will come together once again for a fundraising event to help with the ongoing needs of the de la Cruz Farms, located just across from Deep Gap Fire Department.
If you enjoy good music, food, fun and fellowship while supporting a good cause, this is the place to be.
Since 2014, de la Cruz Farms (meaning “of the cross”) has been serving area children and families in a unique farm-like setting that provides hands-on experiences in a safe, family friendly and faith-based atmosphere.
“Our primary goal is to share Biblical truths about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with our guests while helping them learn about the farm and to enjoy all it has to offer,” said co-owner, Bencita Brooks.
Weekly one-on-one sessions are available at de la Cruz for individuals and/or families at absolutely no cost, and include learning to care for the farm, its inhabitants — horses and bees, primarily — as well as Bible study.
Sessions usually last about an hour and a half and are open to anyone, with family participation especially encouraged with time spent learning about the Bible and carrying out a farm chore together — which can be anything from gardening, weeding or mucking a field. The final part of the session is spent doing whatever the participants choose — working with or riding the horses, beekeeping or gardening.
This annual fundraising event is vital to the ongoing services provided by the farm, whether for general operating expenses or for special needs accessibility, such as ramps and other platforms for those with limited mobility.
The organization works with many special-needs individuals, so efforts are always made to make sure the farm is adequately equipped to do so, on a year-round basis.
Providing a variety of positive, interactive (farm) experiences for children and families who are dealing with difficult life circumstances and/or challenging needs, the nonprofit organization is located in the heart of the Deep Gap community, owned and operated by Jeff and Bencita Brooks.
According to Bencita Brooks, the farm’s success is, in large part, due to its active board of directors and other compassionate volunteers who recognize and reflect the organization’s core values, which, she says, include “sharing Bible truths, reaching out to children and families — and nurturing God’s creation.”
“We see the farma s one of the ways we can love our creator and our neighbor,” she added.
In addition to the fundraising event and other donations that come in during the year, the operation of de la Cruz is funded primarily through its increasing popular honey production.
Hoedown, honey, fried chicken and more
The upcoming event at de la Cruz promises to be filled with a lot of fun for everyone, said the Brooks family, which will include fried chicken and all the fixings provided by Dan’l Boone Inn.
Live music will feature the return of local band, New River Drifters, who wowed the crowd last year and are returning due to popular demand. With a wide range of talent, vocal and musical skills, the River Drifters attract a crowd wherever they go. They will provide music for square dancing, contra dancing and more.
A baked pie contest for the adults will be held once again in two different categories: fruit and nuts, as well as custard and cream-type pies. The contest is open to all ages and winners will receive nice prizes from the farm. Youngsters age 16 and below are invited to compete in an overall baked goods contest.
If that’s not enough, guests can learn all about honey — how it is made and harvested — and will be able to purchase and bottle their own honey. Multiflora and sourwood varieties of honey will be available at the event.
And there will be fun games for the kids.
Suggested donations are $15 per person, $25 per couple, $5 for children 12 and under and $40 maximum for large families.
For more information about de la Cruz, to reserve your tickets for the event and/or to register for the pie contest, call 828-964-8152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
De la Cruz farms is located at 6696 Old Hwy. 421 South in Deep Gap.