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.
Our 8th Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting will be in 2015. My bee book is being published in early December 2014 and, geez, it’s just too many things on our plate to prepare for and host an Apple Festival at the same time. Can you hold on until next year? We love holding this event and hope to see you next year. — Jacqueline\
* On Nov. 20th at 7pm at the Clark County Bee Club, Jacqueline talks about treatment-free beekeeping. At the Casee Center in Brush Prairie.
* Jacqueline speaks at the WA Tilth Conference November 9th on — you guessed it! — honeybees and how to be sustainable keeping them. The conference at the Vancouver Hilton goes for three days and has all kinds of farm information. Join us!
* Jacqueline speaks at the Women’s Permaculture Conference in Seattle Sept 19021.
* Jacqueline talks about heirloom apples at the Home Orchard Society‘s “All About Fruit Show.” See the HOS site for more info. A great event! Oct. 18 at 11am, and the event is Oct 18-19 10-4 at the Clackamas Fairgrounds.
* A free event hosted by the Clark County Master Gardeners on Oct 7 at 7pm at the Casee Center in Brush Prairie, WA. Jacqueline talks about bees and how to start a pollinator garden.
* Looking for our BEE classes? Our classes and info about my new bee book (due out in December) are on our other website SpiritBee.com/classes
* Our HORSE SCHOOL CLASSES are on our school website The Equine Natural Movement School . Lest you think Joseph’s not busy, he teaches one week of every month at the horse school.
* 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 freshly-milled feed is delivered the following week. Here’s the info for the next order. Pick out what you want and email it to us by the cutoff time. No GMOs! Organic Animal Feed order info
* Joseph teaches the first module of the EQUINE NATURAL MOVEMENT CLASS from December 7-13 in 2014. He’ll hold another class March 15-21, 2015. 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 45 minute CDs of the bees singing “The Song of Increase.” Visit the bee site for more info. All the Bee Stuff
* Bee Classes include:The Bee Family, Gifts from the Hive: Honey, Pollen, Propolis, Wax, Corwin Bell’s Top Bar Beekeeping (3 days), Preparing for Winter, & Planting Bee Gardens. Find all bee classes here.
We had fun doing these. Thanks to all who took part.
* 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.
* HOME ORCHARD SOCIETY’s Fruit Propagation Fair in Canby, OR in March. More events coming this summer. Want to help? Jacqueline’s the Volunteer Coordinator. Contact Jacqueline.
* 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. Our farm is the perfect classroom to practice pruning with many 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 provides 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 speaks at the ORGANIC BEEKEEPERS CONFERENCE in Arizona Feb. 28 – March 2. Her topic was swarms, swarm catching and bee fertility.
* 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 November.
* 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 Saturday, September 21, 2013 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.
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