HENSCRATCH FARMS

June 19, 2020

We know many of you are limiting travel during these uncertain times.  Although we continue to feature trips and places to visit, we are not encouraging you to visit them until it is safe.  We want to support Florida's attractions and businesses during this situation, and hope you will plan to visit them when things get better.  In the meantime, enjoy them virtually from the comfort of your home. 

980 Henscratch Road
Lake Placid, FL 33852
863-699-2060


Henscratch Farms Vineyards and Winery, as the name implies, offers a fine selection of wine. 

Henscratch Farms Country StoreHenscratch Farms Country Store
Flickr/Wayne Jones

It also has a 10 acre vineyard.  But it is a unique place among Florida wineries. It's an actual small working farm.

"Green Eggs and Ham" is a best-selling and critically acclaimed book by Dr. Seuss, first published in 1960. It is one of the best selling children's books in history.

Like many parents of the time, I read the book to my kids. Frankly, I hated the doggerel poems in the book, but the kids loved the words and begged for more.

Henscratch Farms HensHenscratch Farms Hens
Flickr/Wayne Jones

The vineyards were planted in 1999, almost four decades after Dr. Seuss wrote the book. They also have large acreage in the Panhandle and get grapes from other growers in the Southeast.

The tie-in to Dr. Seuss's book (at least in my mind) is the 200 hens that free range under the canopy of the vineyard. These are American breed laying hens. Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rocks and Aracaunas wander the property.

Dr. Seuss Never Visited Henscratch FarmsDr. Seuss Never Visited Henscratch Farms

The Aracuanas lay large green eggs. See the connection to Dr. Seuss?

The property boasts 10 acres of native southern muscadine and scuppernong grape varieties, a hydroponics growing system for strawberry production, and a high bush blueberry patch.

The centerpiece of this small working farm is the country store. It is built in the old fashioned Florida Cracker style.The building sits above the ground with a crawl space beneath. This is how almost all Florida buildings were constructed a century ago or less.

Henscratch FarmsHenscratch Farms

The entrance is through sliding barn doors and a large open breezeway. Inside you will find many types of wine, homemade jams and jellies, sauces and syrups. Many gift baskets are also available.

Products in the store vary with the harvest season. Strawberry preserves, blueberry dressing, and jams and jellies are displayed on the tasting counter so you can try a sample. They even have eggs for sale, and raw honey from their own hives.

Henscratch Farms Hog and HenHenscratch Farms Hog and Hen
Flickr/Wayne Jones

It's fun to browse the well stocked store.  It's also fun just to sit on the wide shady Florida Cracker porch and take in the sights.

Henscratch Farms offers a self guided farm tour, and even gives you some Cheerios to feed the friendly hens as you wander around the property.

There are plenty of other things to do at Henscratch. You can pick your own strawberries from December through March. You can also attend grape stomping events. Private labels are available for your personally stomped wines.

Henscratch Farms SiloHenscratch Farms Silo

There are also musical events from time to time. For example, during May blueberry season, they have a "Blueberry Bluegrass Festival". For family reunions or larger events, Henscratch Farms has a nice open air pavilion with a kitchen.

A visit to Henscratch can also be coupled with a trip to Lake Placid to see the fantastic downtown murals and find the schedule for the latest Caladium festival.

HOURS OF OPERATION

Henscratch Farms has a schedule that varies due to the harvest seasons, and you should check in with them before visiting.

April-December

  • Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Closed Mondays
    Check the HENSCRATCH WEBSITE  for special events & other info.

DIRECTIONS

From Sebring and North

US Route 27 South to Hwy 66 West, 2 3/4 miles to Left on Orange Blossom to Left on Josephine Drive

From Lake Placid and South

US. Rte. 27 North to Left on Lake June Road to Left on Miller Avenue to Right on Henscratch Road

For more information regarding special events call 863-699-2060.


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