This morning, Henry and I had a 9 am date with Robin Kirby at Devon Acres Organic Farm. The farm is located along the Grand River, just outside of Brantford. Friends had recommended that I contact the folks at Devon Acres when I put the call out for places to house my new beehives. An organic farm is a match made in heaven for us, as the bees help out with pollinating their crops while they provide a safe and delicious home for the bees. So very symbiotic. Everyone warned me that I would love Robin Kirby and his organic farm. I knew it would be a wonderful partnership before I ever set eyes on Devon Acres, but this afternoon I can't stop smiling because I am so smitten!
We had a wonderful morning on the farm. We weren't there for five minutes before Henry had put himself to work, helping to stack the boards that had been used to protect the carrot seeds while they germinated in shallow soil (see all the things I am learning?!). I told Robin, and his son Aaron, that they should have a daycare for people like me who would love to see their preschoolers outside, working on a farm, every day! While I chatted with Robin, Henry ran wild with his grandsons who also live on the farm. They chased the kitty, climbed wood piles, watched the workhorses ploughing the field and inspected the chickens. Those children are living the dream - a true "wildhood".
Robin is a delightful and interesting man, who knows a lot about a lot. He has had bees on his farm on and off over the years, and is happy to house some hives once again. We walked a bit of the property, discussing where might be the best place for the new hives. We landed on the area where he has an old hive still nestled in the long grass. It is a lovely spot, under a tree, on the hill, between the cattle and sheep and the chickens and ducks. Our bees will have a wonderful view. And there is an awesome old Mini sinking into the soil right beside our soon-to-be bee yard, just to make it extra cool. Dad and I will plan to bring the new hives out next week, to get them set up on their pallets in the sun. They will be all ready for the bees when we arrive to pop the nucs into the hives on May 12th.
Devon Acres Organic Farm is just a beautiful little family farm that has been doing things the right way for a long time. They are one of the oldest CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farms in Ontario. This will be their 23rd year of providing CSA for the community! I, of course, came with chequebook in hand so that I could sign us up for the CSA this year. More and more, we are trying to know where our food comes from. We are also seeking to support local farmers in the same way that people choose to support us as local beekeepers. I can't wait to make the weekly trip out to the farm to check on my bees and to pick up our family's share of vegetables that have been pollinated by our bees and harvested by our friends.
You can find out more about Devon Acres Organic Farm here at their website. Or follow them on facebook, for a regular dose of fun farm photos!
Kari Raymer Bishop
Lover of Jesus, cheeses and tropical breezes... seeking balance in life, even as I embrace new challenges and chase new dreams. I am wife, mother, daughter and friend, as well as teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer, beekeeper and hostess. Come along on the journey through my long-awaited midlife crisis!