Where Spirit and Nature Meet
Our farm is located in the tiny village (pop. 2000) of Venersborg in southwest Washington. We do many things here. We have beef and dairy cows, dairy goats, layers and broiler chickens, seasonal turkeys and many honey bees. The farm is a bee sanctuary with native pollinator hedgerows and blooming bee pastures. We grow a dozen kinds of apples, grapes, berries and other fruit, have a vegetable garden and two greenhouses for summer and winter. We grow and bale our own hay and always have a construction project going. Living on a working farm is a real pleasure and even when the work is hard, we feel blessed to be in partnership with this land. We work with joyful hearts and open minds in gratitude for the many lessons our good farm teaches.
* Looking for our BEE CLASSES? Our spring and summer classes are on our other website SpiritBee.com/classes
* Our HORSE SCHOOL CLASSES are on our school website The Equine Natural Movement School
* January 15 from 10-2, FREE Fruit Tree Pruning & Biodynamic Tree Paste Class
Co-sponsored by URBAN ABUNDANCE. John Buttrell of Arborscape teaches the art and science of fruit tree pruning at the Freeman’s biodynamic farm. This farm is the perfect classroom to practice pruning with many different types of fruit trees from young to mature including old trees that need corrective pruning trees to create proper structure. Jacqueline Freeman will show how to make biodynamic tree paste, a simple method that provides nutrition to growing trees and protects fruit trees from diseases.
* RAW CHOCOLATE CLASS — Jan. 16 from 1-3. Joelle Budinich teaches how to make truly healthy (and delicious) chocolate treats using superfoods and sweetening with honey and maple syrup (no processed sugar). These foods really are GOOD for you and you can make them at home. $30-40 sliding scale. You’ll take home a dozen or two chocolates you make in class. What fun!
* Jacqueline speaks at the AGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEURS class, sponsored by Clark County Small Acreage Program and WSU. Topic: Creating Good Publicity and Agritourism. Jan. 19 at 7:30. Contact Eric Lambert 360-397-6060 ext 5729
* Jacqueline speaks at the ORGANIC BEEKEEPERS CONFERENCE in Arizona Feb. 28 – March 2. Her topic is swarms, swarm catching and bee fertility.
* Joseph teaches the first module of the EQUINE NATURAL MOVEMENT CLASS from June 15-21 and another class from May 31-June 2 & June 7-9. Visit the site for more info.
* Jacqueline & Robin Wise have beautiful photos and note cards of their bee photographs they’re setting up to sell. Robin has made 40 minute CDs of the bees singing “The Song of Increase.” Visit the bee site for more info. All the Bee Stuff
* Jacqueline speaks about her trip to Dominican Republic to help rural beekeepers become biodynamic. Photos! Honey to taste! Two chances to see/hear this: Jan. 9 at 7pm for the Clark County Beekeepers Club and again on February 5 at 6:30pm with the Portland Urban Beekeepers.
* HOME ORCHARD SOCIETY’s Fruit Propagation Fair in Canby, OR on Sunday March 16. Want to help? Jacqueline’s the Volunteer Coordinator. We’d love to have help and you’ll take home plenty of scions or young fruit trees. Contact Jacqueline at FriendlyHaven@gmail.com
* March 30 has two bee classes. The Bee Family in the morning and Gifts from the Hive: Honey, Pollen, Propolis, Wax in the afternoon. Find all bee classes here.
* We welcome our new farm helper, Caroline!
We had fun doing these. Thanks to all who took part.
* Jacqueline was interviewed for an upcoming video webinar called “The Sacred Path of Bee.”
* Jacqueline spoke at the Portland Plant Medicine Conference (Nov. 15-17)
* Jacqueline taught a bee class at the Hood River Bee Club (Nov. 18)
* Joseph taught the monthly fall & winter Equine Natural Movement classes
* Jacqueline taught Honeybee Successes & Failures: How did your bees do this year? (Oct. 12)
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* WSU MASTER GARDENERS TOUR of our FARM
October 22 in the morning. A farm tour and discussion of biodynamic agriculture.
* Volunteering at the Home Orchard Society’s “ALL ABOUT FRUIT SHOW”
Saturday & Sunday Oct. 19-20 at the Clackamas Fairgrounds in Canby, OR.
* Our 7th Annual APPLE-FEST & HEIRLOOM APPLE TASTING was Saturday, September 21 at the county’s Heritage Farm on 78th St. in Vancouver. Our Apple Tasting has been so popular we outgrew the little schoolhouse nearby. This year we were part of Clark County’s Farm Harvest Celebration and — yippee! — we had room to spread out and invite more nonprofit organizations to participate. The Home Orchard Society again identified backyard apples people brought in. They showed people how to grow apple trees and led a tour of the farm’s impressive young orchard on the hillside. Many grownups and kids made scrumptious old-fashion apple pies to bake at home. The Master Preservers booth was busy all day long showing people how to make delicious apple dishes. Their apple relish was a hit! Naturescaping gave an inspiring demonstration on creating pollinator gardens. And of course we had over 200 different kinds of heirloom apples for everyone to taste. Yes, that was fun! More about the Apple Fest
* BIODYNAMIC APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
We are a Mentor Farm with the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP). We provide training and education in a two year study program for people who want to learn biodynamic agriculture. Learn more about NABDAP
Thanks everyone who came to our well-attended Washington Tilth Farm Walk on July 15. We had a great time!
The Sacred Beekeeping class in August — Thank you for all your support in bringing respectful beekeeping methods to the bees. Sacred Beekeeping
Living on a farm is a fulfilling, busy life with moments of great humor, challenges that help us develop our skills at being present, soul-developing insight and conundrums of life. Take a few minutes to read what happens on our farm. We’ve got plenty of stories here. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see links for more farm photos and stories. Enjoy!
Joseph & Jacqueline
Jacqueline Freeman is our resident bee and garden gal. Last year she spoke at the Organic Beekeepers Conference in Arizona and the Women’s Permaculture Conference and this year she was hired to create a five year biodynamic/organic program for rural beekeepers in Dominican Republic through the U.S. Embassy’s Agricultural Development Program. If we can get her to sit down in front of her laptop a bit longer, she will finish writing her book about her deep relationship with honeybees. On the farm she teaches monthly bee classes, a different one each month. To be notified about them, visit our honeybee website and sign up for our BEE Newsletter. Visit our bee website where we talk about kind and respectful ways to be in relationship with honeybees.
Joseph Freeman is the animal guy on the farm. He has a deep sensitivity to the needs of all our livestock and a particular fondness for horses. In 1995 he took his professional background in Structural Integration for humans and applied it to horses. He developed a program that returns horses to optimal balance and flexibility. He’s had many articles published and will begin his book in the near future. In 2003 he started a school to teach people how to be Equine Natural Movement practitioners and have a career working with horses. To learn more about this work, visit
The EQUINE Natural Movement School
Each fall our farm hosts an heirloom apple tasting where you can taste over 200 kinds of apples. Both of us have apples in our past and introducing people to the pleasures of these beautiful old heirloom apples is a real delight. We even discovered a ‘thought-to-be-extinct’ apple that grows on our farm:
Rare Old Apples that Taste like Roses
Watch Lisa Fenderson’s movie of our first (and far smaller) annual apple event
Heirloom Apples at the One-Room Schoolhouse
FARM TOURS, AGRITHERAPY & FARM STAYS
If we can carve out the time, we sometimes offer farm tours, usually an hour or two walk over hill and dale to see what’s happening on the farm. It’s always different depending on what we’re planting, prepping, or harvesting, who’s just been born, and what the bees are up to. We don’t have a fixed price and suggest a donation to cover our time. Please understand that we have very busy lives and rarely ever find ourselves with all our tasks done at the end of the day. We offer tours because many people don’t know how a farm works. We think it’s important that people understand what goes into growing nutrient dense food and caring for animals and environment with respect and love.
In the past we have invited people to stay with us while they learned new, more supportive ways to live in the world. We know how life-affirming it is to de-stress in a calm environment and reconnect with nature. We aren’t doing farm stays right now though we may revisit them in the future.
This past year we spent a lot of time on farm renovation: Two new greenhouses, upgrading the farm’s electric system, work on the farmhouse, renewing pastures and gardens and repairing fences left no time for the stays. Nonetheless we’re mighty pleased how much value people got out of these. Have a look at the information about the farm stays to see how they unfolded.
read Family & Pie Stories