Where Spirit and Nature Meet
Our farm is located in the tiny village (pop. 2000) of Venersborg in southwest Washington. 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. We’ve got a vegetable garden and two greenhouses so we can grow food year round. 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.
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UPCOMING EVENTS 2015
* Jacqueline’s Bee Book is here! Visit www.SpiritBee.com to read bee stories, hear bee audiofiles, see what we’re up to with our bees (it’s a deep site), and yep, you can even order the bee book. Available in soft/hardbound or kindle/nook version. Visit Amazon by clicking on this link: THE SONG OF INCREASE: Returning to Our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees
* We held a three-day Honeybee Conference in August 2015 and it was well attended by people from all over the country. In 2016 the theme is alternative hives. We’ll post more info on the bee site once we get our speakers and dates firmed up for our mid-summer bee conference.
* Watch for our 8th Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting in fall 2016.
* If you’re hungry for apples, we invite you to visit the HOME ORCHARD SOCIETY’s “All About Fruit Show” on October 17 & 18 at the Clackamas Fairgrounds in Clackamas, OR. Jacqueline’s the volunteer coordinator and will be arranging helpers as well as speaking about orchards and pollination.
*See a good list of Jacqueline’s upcoming honeybee presentations here: BEE TALKS
* Want to attend our BEE CLASSES? Bee Classes include: “The Bee Family,” “Honey, Pollen, Propolis, & Wax,” “Beekeeping for Beginners,” “Preparing for Spring (or Winter)”, & “Planting Bee Gardens.” This spring we have classes with top bar expert, CORWIN BELL, and tree hive maker, MICHAEL JOSHIN THIELE> We also have bee potlucks, bee hive tours, and bee movie nights Find all bee classes here.
* Our HORSE SCHOOL CLASSES are on our school website The Equine Natural Movement School . Joseph teaches one week of every month at the horse school. The next Level One class is March 13-19, 2016. If you live nearby our farm (35 min NE of Portland OR), we’re also having a “split” Level One class February 5-6-7 & 26-27-28.
* Every other month we organize an animal feed co-op for our farm community. We do a bulk order of ORGANIC chick and animal feed and get a really good price. You’re welcome to join. Orders go in the 1st day of odd-number months and the fresh-milled feed is delivered the following week. Pick out what you want and email it to us by the cutoff time. No GMOs! Here’s a sample of one of our newsletters. ORGANIC ANIMAL FEED ORDER INFO
* Jacqueline & Robin Wise have beautiful photos and note cards of their bee photographs you can order. Robin made a 45 minute CD of the bees singing “The Song of Increase.” Visit the bee site for more info. ALL THE BEE STUFF
* HOME ORCHARD SOCIETY’s spring event is in Clackamas Fairgrounds in Oregon TBA. Want to help? Jacqueline’s the Volunteer Coordinator. Contact Jacqueline.
We had fun doing these. Thanks to all who took part.
Our Three-Day Bee Conference was August 21-23. Very well-attended with people from all over the US and Canada. Our focus was on chemical-free treatment-free beekeeping that recognizes the sacredness of all life. In 2016 we’ll do this event in midsummer.
* More presentations and events related to bees on our website www.SpiritBee.com .
* Jacqueline spoke at the WA Tilth Conference in November on — you guessed it! — honeybees and how to be sustainable keeping them. The 3-day conference had all kinds of farm information.
* Jacqueline spoke at the Women’s Permaculture Conference in Seattle.
* Jacqueline talked about heirloom apples at the Home Orchard Society‘s “All About Fruit Show.”
* Clark County Master Gardeners, Jacqueline talked about how to start a pollinator garden.
* Jacqueline spoke and showed videos of her trip to Dominican Republic to help rural beekeepers become biodynamic. Photos! Honey to taste! Two talks were at at the Clark County Beekeepers Club and again at the Portland Urban Beekeepers.
* FREE Fruit Tree Pruning & Biodynamic Tree Paste Class in January
Co-sponsored by URBAN ABUNDANCE. John Buttrell of Arborscape taught the art and science of fruit tree pruning, then we practiced pruning with different types of fruit trees and old trees that needed corrective pruning trees to create proper structure. Jacqueline showed how to make biodynamic tree paste to provide nutrition to growing trees and protect fruit trees from diseases.
* Jacqueline spoke at the AGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEURS class, sponsored by Clark County Small Acreage Program and WSU. Topic: Creating Good Publicity and Agritourism.
* Jacqueline spoke at the ORGANIC BEEKEEPERS CONFERENCE in Arizona Feb. 28 – March 2. Her topic in 2014 was swarms, swarm catching and bee fertility. In 2015 she taught beekeepers how to have a closer relationship with their bees.
* Jacqueline was interviewed for an upcoming video webinar called “The Sacred Path of Bee.”
* Jacqueline spoke at the Portland Plant Medicine Conference in November.
* Jacqueline taught a bee class at the Hood River Bee Club in the fall.
* Joseph teaches each month (for a week at a time) Equine Natural Movement classes
* Jacqueline taught Honeybee Successes & Failures: How did your bees do this year?
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* The WSU MASTER GARDENERS had a great walking TOUR of our FARM
* Our 7th Annual APPLE-FEST & HEIRLOOM APPLE TASTING was at the county’s Heritage Farm 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 in July. 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
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.
In the past few years we spent a lot of time on farm renovation: Two new greenhouses, we upgraded the farm’s electric system, work on the farmhouse, renewing pastures and gardens and repairing fences, and the biggest project so far… a new BARN!
read Family & Pie Stories