It’s been a busy week. There are now three new bee yards for our Brookfield Farm bees at three fabulous Whatcom County farms. The Brookfield bees don’t do a lot of traveling. They stay put in bee yards and the beekeeper drives to them.
This works out well for all:
1) The bees are less stressed. They only make one move: from the Brookfield Farm bee “nursery” in Maple Falls, to their new home on a farm, or in a field, or garden in our lovely area.
2) The folks who have the bees get to enjoy their presence and pollination year-round, from first to last bloom. They get to have bees without the challenges that face beekeepers today.
3) The beekeeper, that would be me, gets to have wonderful places to put her bees and meet great people who live in our area.
Loading Up And Heading Out:
Ian, my husband, and I loaded the bees just at dark. I have learned over time that my Toyota Pick-up can hold 9 hives on a single level.
A 5am the next morning we pulled out and slowly bumped our way down our three-quarter mile dirt road to head eastbound on the Mt. Baker Highway to the bees’ new homes.
Spring Frog Farm at Holistic Homestead:
First stop was Spring Frog Farm at Holistic Homestead (http://holistichomestead.net)
Gretchen Woody and her husband Jeffrey run about 15 acres of land where they produce that includes salad mix, strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, onion, flowers, eggs, vegetable starts and more. Her goal is to “restore the health of the soil to restore the health of the plants, animals, and humans as a health preventative method for all life,” through sustainable agriculture. The farm is Certified Organic and Certified Transitional by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Spring Frog Farm products can be found at the Bellingham and Fairhaven Markets, local grocery stores, Bellingham restaurants, in the baskets of her CSA members, and at Gretchen’s new farm stand. If that’s not enough to keep Gretchen busy, Spring Frog Farm hosts farm school programs, school tours, internships, and soon a day-care facility. It makes me exhausted thinking about it, but Gretchen always has a smile on her face.
It looks to be a wonderful place for the honeybees, as do the next two farms. No photos from the next – I just forgot to take pictures until the end of the three set ups. Somehow I was more concerned about getting the bees set up as smoothly and rapidly as possible.
The Carrot And Stick
The Carrot And Stick (TheCarrotAndStick.com) was our final stop, and we reached it at about 6:30 am. As we were setting up, Ian looked up and pointed to two bald eagles flying overhead. A good omen. (Why? I like bald eagles.)
This is the farm of Ephraim and Laura Kurszewski who are working towards their organic certification. All the vegetables at The Carrot And Stick are gown using organic techniques and soil fertility strategies. Ninety-percent of their produce is grown from organic seed, including many heirloom varieties of vegetables. Their products can be found in the baskets of their CSA members.
Ephraim and Laura are committed to growing “wholesome food and build community through collaborative events & hands-on projects.” You can find delicious fruits and vegetable there, and you can also find events: my favorite upcoming musical moment has to be the tuba quartet – not something you often hear. Educational workshops range from how to make a plastic bag dryer to how to build an earth oven. Their commitment to both the land and the community make The Carrot and Stick a lovely place to have Brookfield Farm bees flying (at a slightly lower altitude than the bald eagles)
I am so pleased to have met these hard-working, dedicated folks who run the three farms on which we placed bees yesterday. They all have a strong commitment to growing excellent produce and treating the land with respect. It seems a good match for our honeybees that fly from chemical-free, antibiotic-free hives.
You know, I just learned how to make the links work on this blog – going on 2 years of doing this. I’m glad I’m good with bees, I’m not terribly internet savvy. So, in celebration of something new learned, here’s another link : visit us at Walking-Wild.com