farming

Waxing on about bees

Jacqueline Freeman is making a buzz in the field that chose her – beekeeping.

Originally from small towns in New England, Jacqueline and her husband Joseph Freeman moved to Seattle years ago and tried to be city dwellers. Soon, they discovered they just weren’t urbanites and in 2002 found 10 acres in tiny Venersborg in Clark County. While they didn’t intend to farm, today they have acres of gardens, pasture and forest, home to cows, hens, a goat, three cats, a dog and a few hundred thousand honey bees.

Jacqueline’s relationship with bees began when she was offered a hive from a couple that was moving from their house in Portland.

“I was fascinated from day one,” she said. “I was transfixed. I spent all this time with the bees. It wasn’t just a box of bugs.”

Over the years, Jacqueline learned about organic gardening, permaculture, and what really resonated was biodynamics, essentially a spiritual approach to organic gardening. She became a certified beekeeper and joined the Clark County Beekeepers Association. She quickly noticed most methods for contemporary beekeeping involved the use of chemicals and medicines to keep the bees alive and productive. But the more she listened to the bees, the more she knew she couldn’t take this approach. Her fellow beekeepers told her she would lose whole hives – and she did – but today she has ten working hives and a wealth of knowledge to keep them thriving. And the tides are changing – today, four out of the five officers at the bee club are fully organic.

After years of talking and listening to her bees, Jacqueline started writing down what she was learning through experience – and what the bees themselves were saying to her in her meditative sessions by their hives. Eventually, she had a book on organic beekeeping fleshed out. With the help of Susan Chernak McElroy (New York Times bestselling author of “Animals as Teachers & Healers”), she completed “The Song of Increase: Returning to our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees.”

The self-published tome was quickly picked up by Sounds True Publishing and will soon be translated into languages around the world. Jacqueline accepts invitations from across the country and Europe to talk about bees and meet with beekeepers.

Back at the farm, she offers classes of all kinds, and Joseph teaches a physical therapy technique he developed for horses. But the bees have become a central and sacred part of their journey.

Jacqueline Freeman
Friendly Haven Rise Farm
20309 N.E. 242nd Ave., Battle Ground
360-687-8384

 

 

Small Acreage Expo

Small is beautiful! And even the smallest parcels of land can be productive when properly managed. That's what the Small Acreage Expo is all about, and it's happening from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 5, at the 78th Street Heritage Farm, 1919 78th St. in Vancouver. Attendees can choose from many workshops and seminars, including vermicomposting, beekeeping, fruit growing, goat keeping, fence building (remember, good fences makes good neighbors, at least according to Rober Frost), draining solutions for waterlogged land, pasture repair, naturscaping, and raising beef—among other topics.

If you'd like to add a boxed lunch to your day, the cost is $20; if not, tickets are $10 per person. The day includes an open house during the lunch hour where you can visit with local agencies and vendors who offer services and solutions for small acreage owners. The Small Acreage Expo is co-sponsored by the WSU Clark County Extension and Clark County Environmental Services Clean Water Program. For more details about the expo, click here to see a downloadable flyer. To purchase tickets, click here.

Small Acreage Expo

Small is beautiful! And even the smallest parcels of land can be productive when properly managed. That's what the Small Acreage Expo is all about, and it's happening from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 5, at the 78th Street Heritage Farm, 1919 78th St. in Vancouver. Attendees can choose from many workshops and seminars, including vermicomposting, beekeeping, fruit growing, goat keeping, fence building (remember, good fences makes good neighbors, at least according to Rober Frost), draining solutions for waterlogged land, pasture repair, naturscaping, and raising beef—among other topics.

If you'd like to add a boxed lunch to your day, the cost is $20; if not, tickets are $10 per person. The day includes an open house during the lunch hour where you can visit with local agencies and vendors who offer services and solutions for small acreage owners. The Small Acreage Expo is co-sponsored by the WSU Clark County Extension and Clark County Environmental Services Clean Water Program. For more details about the expo, click here to see a downloadable flyer. To purchase tickets, click here.