Mark Fisher at the Zoo farm

A Beekeeper, a Farmer, and a Man with Big Ideas Walk into a Farm. . .

List some of your favorite things. Go ahead. Here are mine:

  1. Honeybees
  2. Prairie flowers and prairie grasses
  3. Organic vegetable gardens
  4. Farming
  5. Tractors
  6. People who have grand ideas
  7. People who are not fearful of those grand ideas
  8. People who make things happen because they say “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
  9. The Cincinnati Zoo
  10. Grassroots movements
  11. Green Bean Delivery
  12. Etc.

There might possibly be a movement afoot, Reader. There might possibly be an exciting, easy partnership developing. Among people who are the kind of people who simply get along and trust one another and want to work together. For a greater good than if we worked alone.

This movement of like-minded and why-not-us people reminds me of what’s happening in the once-neglected space behind Eli’s BBQ. We’re all sort of squatting together in an urban lot…the gardener, the orchardist, and the beekeeper. And it’s so awesome we can hardly stand it.

This new movement will be organized yet flexible. We’ll think about it. But we’re moving forward as we think. And we’re not squatting. We belong here. It’s all arranged.

Mark Fisher at the Zoo farm

 

Ben, Casey, and Kevin of Green Bean Delivery

 

A Space Is Prepared, and the Bees Fill It

We spent much of the weekend on our farm in Waco, Kentucky. Now that Deb owns the farm outright, we feel we can begin making a few slight changes in the way things work down there. For instance, I think we’re gonna ask all the relatives to come and get whatever they want from the old farmhouse and the shed and the barn; whatever’s left that we don’t want will go up in flames in a bonfire the likes of which Madison County hasn’t seen in a long long time. Keep your eyes on the sky the day following Labor Day.

Why clear all that stuff from the house, the shed, the barn? Sometimes you just need to make some room. Creativity requires room. How can new things come to you, Reader, if there’s no space in which to hold it?

So, Brent (the guy who leases the farm to run some cattle) has recently changed his life. He’s made room in it for new things, and he’s ready to keep bees. We’re thinking of starting about 10 hives down there next spring. The farm is a 2-hour drive from here, and because we get down there only about once a month, it’s important to have someone keeping an eye on the bees…and Brent seems perfectly delighted at that prospect. He’s decided on a spot against a fence for the hives. He’s planning to seed a field in clover. For whatever reason, a reason I have no need to understand, Brent needs bees. Just as I did.

You know, Reader, I find it quite fascinating that some people—people such as Brent and me (and perhaps even you)—become ready. I don’t know how to describe it, but I can spot it right away. A light appears in the eye. A space is held open in the body for it. Other people make polite conversation, but those who are ready cannot be satisfied with small talk. Might as well go ahead and buy those people a smoker of their own.

 

Returning Bees to the Farm

This morning I brought up the idea of keeping a few hives of bees at the farm, and Deb did not say “No.” Actually, I think I heard an actual “Yes” somewhere in her response.

The 80-acre farm in Waco, Kentucky is a 2-hour drive from here, and we get down there for a couple of days about once every 6 or 8 weeks. We wouldn’t need to check on the bees any more than that. I’m inspecting my backyard hives weekly only because I’m trying to learn what goes on in there…what patterns and signs to attend to. But it’s not necessary in the long run.

We’d need to do some adding of supers in the spring and some taking of honey in the fall, but really, we could just let them generally take care of themselves. And Deb’s uncles would be happy happy happy to have bees in the yard there once again.

Oh gosh. Now my mind is going gangbusters trying to figure out the logistics of having bees in an outyard so far away.