Somebody important is reading my musings about healthy food and sustainable Food-Web-Farming!

Arriving at the house late afternoon on June 17, I noticed substantial buzzings going on and thought to myself that the mosquitos are really out in full force today. To my surprise, as I walked up to the door, I noticed some rather heavy aerial acrobatics going on around an antique barrel. The heavy activity turned out to be a swarm of bees that had taken a liking to the old barrel that serves as a stand for a table.

bees in a barrelThe barrel had actually just been vacated by a family of robins who thought it made a grand [old] place to have young. I should maybe mention that in my eyes both the robins and the bees have demonstrated rather good taste in selecting their new home. This barrel started its life for one of the most famous brewers of beer in the city of Cologne, Germany. The beer is called “Kölsch” – for those of you interested.

I am glad that the right species read my writing, as bees are an integral part for my food web farmingfood-web-farming plan, which I am working on here on the farm. As of this year with the assistance of the Ellenbach Foundation.

This farm was purchased by my parents in 1976 and has not had any pesticide nor herbicide applied since 1980, when the last crop of corn came off the fields. The farmer who had been using the fields at the time was kind enough to reseed the fields with a good mixture of grasses and the fields ideally suited for hay have been in sustainable hay production ever since. Over time and personal time permitting, I have been reworking some of the other fields in accordance with what wants to grow there. The farm has five different soil types, everything from almost gravel to sand, sandy loam, heavy loam and  ‘muck’. The property also has an apple orchard with some very nice heritage trees I managed to trace back to the early 1920-ies as well as an artesian spring and a couple of runs of water, some forest and a couple of old beaver ponds.With the help of my wife and enthusiastic scouts we have planted about 5,000 mostly conifers for windbreaks and wild life corridors. These are now passing the ten and twenty foot mark. The results are amazing as deer, cottontails and grouse have taken a liking to what we have done and are doing. One field decided to go almost entirely ‘milkweed’ and I am thinking of renaming it monarch pasture. An M.D. told me last year that oil pressed from milkweed seed has important medicinal properties. Has anybody worked out yet a harvest practice that would work with the monarch life-cycle? If you have, I want to talk with you. The monarchs love the milkweed and are around every year.

It takes time and patience to figure out the relationships between the members of our food web and I try to add at least one ‘new’ member to my food-web-farm every year.

I was looking for bees to participate this year and am very pleased they got my memo!

Here’s to the bees!

P.S. : Bees: when you read this, feel welcome on the farm, lots of different flowers, herbs, trees and and other assorted sources of nectar and pollen waiting for you.

Thanks for showing up when you did!

keywords: bees, Food-Web-Farming, Food-Web-Farm, hashtags: #foodwebfarming, #foodwebfarm

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