Tag Archives: urban farming

HoneyBea Farm, The Beginning

24 Jan

HoneyBea taste-testing the garlic

Welcome to HoneyBea Farm. We are a small urban farmstead with just over an acre, a couple of gardens, a much neglected orchard, 10 chickens, two cats, a dog and a beehive. Follow us here as we grow our little plot into a functional urban oasis that will provide not only us, but others in the community, with fresh and nutritious produce.

Our goal in moving to this home, an 1877 brick farmhouse, was to provide some spreading out room for our growing family, and be able to grow more than just a couple of tomatoes on the teeny plot we were on before. With a daughter on the way I knew that she needed to grow up outdoors as I had, understanding where food came from and the importance of community. A few days before giving birth I quit my dream job and committed myself to being a full time mother and farmer. What I did not realize, was that being a full time parent almost totally eclipses everything else, especially in that first year. The gardens I had carefully laid in before giving birth were sadly neglected and I wandered out there during Bea’s naps, dumbfounded that all that work was going to waste. We harvested and ate or preserved as much of the bounty as possible, but the next round of planting happened in fits and starts, and my ability to care for it all was not what was needed. Weeds grew up through the asparagus, the pole beans were consumed by morning glories, something ate the turnips off under the ground. Sigh.

Then I accepted a part time job, and then another part time job, both agricultural and both positions where I could take Bea along. I began working for a hunger relief non-profit, coordinating the gathering and transport of excess and waste produce to people who really needed it. Then I began working on one of the organic farms I visited in the first job. Suddenly I was a full time mom AND a full time activist and farm worker. But I still wasn’t getting things done at home the way I needed to. But we still managed to eat some our own fresh produce through the summer.

Now it’s time to turn things around. I want to view my little farm as a priority, and as a way to help out others in our community. Now that I have worked for nearly a year helping to feed others, I understand better how much one person can accomplish. And how important it is to me that our daughter grows up knowing this as well. I am applying for kickstarter funding to help cover some of the expenses of expanding the farm and turning this hobby into a real job. Getting the farm up and running is only Phase 1 of the project however. A good growing year in Phase 1 will help enable Phase 2, which is our outreach phase. I would like to contribute as much excess produce as possible to local hunger relief organizations. My family lives in Winston-Salem, the #1 city in America for childhood food insecurity. I can help with that. With the implementation of the Phase 2 CSA project, I will also be creating CSA shares to donate to families and food pantries. This part is called “Will Work for Food” and will allow people to work off their own costs or to work off the costs of donated shares. This way, families that are able, can help themselves or help others in the community who are in need.

So watch our progress here. Root us on or offer us advice from your own experience. Bea and I will be out in the garden, planting peas and tending bees, and hopefully feeding and inspiring others.