The Project - What's this about Bees and Trees?
We have plans to kickstart our prairie restoration efforts by establishing an apiary (a place where bees and beehives are kept; essentially a small bee 'farm') which will be home to these amazing, fascinating pollinators. Honeybees are the true heroes of farming, pollinating over 80% of the pollination of food crops eaten by us, wildlife, and our livestock - so the next time you eat an almond, an orange, or a hamburger please thank a bee!
We have pulled ten acres of small, isolated fields out of corn production and are working to restore the native prairie grasses and wildlflowers. Native prairie plants such as coneflowers, blazing stars, prairie clovers, black-eyed susans, and bluestem will provide forage not only for our bees but for native pollinators as well. Establishing "pollination corridors", areas with ample availability of flowering plants throughout the season, can help to re-establish and re-connect habitats which are otherwise dominated by large, monoculture fields.
Our bees will be provided with as natural an environment as possible with no chemicals being used at any time. Even the hive boxes themselves will be naturally stained and sealed. No chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, or other unnatural substances will be used on our 80 acres where the bees will be foraging.
A big part of the funding we are raising will be going towards the equipment necessary to get the hives constructed and installed in an environmentally friendly way. We believe that this sort of locally sourced, well raised honey is both nutritious, delicious, and provides a fantastic bridge to interest people in the importance of the organic (and beyond!) movement.
We will be planting a small orchard and many native hardwood trees to help provide food and shelter for wildlife and a deep root network to keep the soil where it should be. Like our bees, our trees will be raised without use of any chemicals. We will be inoculating the ground around the trees with beneficial, symbiotic fungi and microbes which will help to create a healthy, balanced system based on natural compost and without the use of insecticides, sprays, or chemical fertilization. We are also trying to minimize the use of heavy equipment and non-renewable resources, using a scythe (and some man-power) to mow grass and brush and hand tools for digging and planting. Yes, we're a little crazy but it's incredibly fulfilling to really do things by hand!
We are asking for help in purchasing more trees to plant and to help us grow fruit and nuts using methods which integrate the orchard into the local environment.
What can you do?
With your pledge of support, we can purchase bees, trees, and the equipment we need to get them started on our farm as well as working towards expanding our areas of restored native prairie. To pledge to our project, just click on the 'Back this Project' button on the right of this page near the top. That link will take your through a secure checkout process to donate - it's really easy!
If we don't reach or exceed our goal by the deadline, we won't get any funds at all - it's all or nothing, so please donate today!
What's in it for you?
You can receive some wonderful, unique gifts in exchange for your donation! You will also be showing us that you support our work and find this approach to integrated, natural farming important!
$40 gift - a tagua pendant bee inlay
For more information about tagua, go here: http://foxloft.com/store/tagua/info
$60 gift - a hand-made silver wire tree pendant.
$75 gift - a sumi-e ink painting
$150 gift - a watercolor painting
We are committed to a beyond-organic, holistic approach to sustainable farming. We want to help prove that it is possible to produce a bounty from the land while also making it richer and healthier long into the future!
Thank you for your support!
-Fox & Roman
Please check out our blog about this project, including photos and updates of our progress here: http://foxloft.com/farm
The music credit for our video goes to Mr. Fox Amoore - you can hear more of his wonderful work at: http://www.facebook.com/FoxAmooreMusic
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