10th October – Trip to Deseret Ranch and lunch at Cobblestone Courtyard
This is probably one of the best trips we have ever taken at Garden Club. A group of twenty-five Garden Club members gathered at Heritage Hall early in the morning and drove to the ranch. This is located one hour’s drive away. Sister Fillmore gave us a talk on how the ranch was established in 1957 and the reasons for the purchase of 330,000 acres of land across three Florida counties. The ranch primarily raises calves and farms some citrus, but it leases smaller parcels of land to other businesses. The revenue from the ranch supports the charitable functions of the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints. Sister Tinney then took us on a guided tour of the ranch. We saw different breeds of cattle, the areas that they graze and the houses which some of the cowboys and their staff live in. Every cowboy on the ranch cares for 3500 cows and has to erect 2 miles of fencing each year around his area. There are approximately 44,000 cows on the ranch. They are raised until they are approx 500lb and then they are sent to another farm owned by the church, and finally are processed at the main ranch in Kansas. Deseret Ranch if the fourth largest cattle ranch in the United States. Take a look a the website for more information about this fascinating place. The farm was 50 miles long from the US192 to Orlando and 35 miles wide.
After the tour we drove to St Cloud and had lunch at Cobblestone Courtyard. This was a quaint family-run restaurant owned by Stacy. The freshly prepared food was excellent, from the chicken soup to the reuben sandwiches.