Where Spirit and Nature Meet
Our farm is located in the tiny village (pop. 2000) of Venersborg in southwest Washington. For many years we raised sweet dairy cows, curious dairy goats, talkative chickens, heirloom turkeys and many honey bees but now we just have chickens, bees and one sweet pregnant cow. The farm is a bee sanctuary with native pollinator hedgerows and blooming bee pastures. We grow all kinds of apples, grapes, berries and other fruit. Our vegetable gardens and two greenhouses grow food year round. We used to grow and bale our own hay, a hard scrabble task in summer’s heat. Living on a farm is a real pleasure; 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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* Jacqueline’s BEE BOOK is available in bookstores around the USA and, oh-good-golly, around the world! Now published in English, French, Dutch, Spanish and as an audiobook. The book is available in soft-bound, as an audiobook on Audible.com, or kindle/nook ebook version. Visit www.SpiritBee.com to read bee stories, hear bee audio-files, watch beekeeping videos and see what we’re up to with our bees.
Jacqueline and Susan Knilans re-wild bees and teach people what bees want. They just completed another book and will announce here when it is ready.
NOTE: Our bee club and classes are on hiatus till we get through the pandemic. Then you’re welcome to join us for bee potlucks, bee hive tours, and bee movie nights.
* 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 in Washington (on our farm) and at our school site in England.
Europe! Summer and fall of 2018 and again in 2019, Jacqueline spoke at and led workshops throughout Europe. Events include the Learning from Bees conferences in the Netherlands and Germany, teaching a bee workshop in Glastonbury, England and being filmed for a documentary on her work in France. Joseph taught the first Equine Structural Integration course in Devon, England. Be sure you are on the Bee Newsletter (look for the bee on the pink flower) for more info.
Our Three-Day Bee Conference in 2016 was 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. Get on the bee newsletter to stay informed.
* More presentations and events related to bees on our website www.SpiritBee.com .
* Jacqueline spoke at the WA Tilth Conference 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 pollinator gardens.
* 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 another at the Portland Urban Beekeepers.
* FREE Fruit Tree Pruning & Biodynamic Tree Paste Class co-sponsored by URBAN ABUNDANCE. We practiced pruning with different types of fruit trees and Jacqueline showed how to make biodynamic tree paste to provide nutrition to growing trees and protect fruit trees from diseases.
* Jacqueline speaks annually 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. Her topic was swarms, swarm catching and bee fertility. She taught beekeepers how to have a closer relationship with their bees.
* Jacqueline appears in the video webinar called “The Sacred Path of Bee,” interviews with eight people who are influencing bees’ lives in significant ways.
* Jacqueline spoke at the Portland Plant Medicine Conference.
* Jacqueline taught at the Hood River Bee Club.
* 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
Read this lovely article in The Reflector about our APPLE FEST
* 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, so we became 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 were a Mentor Farm with the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP). We provided training and education in a two year study program for people who wanted to learn biodynamic agriculture. Our travel schedule doesn’t leave room for this now, but we sure loved helping people learn to farm. Some are now living on farms of their own. We are so proud of them! 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 — Thank you for all your support in bringing respectful beekeeping methods to the bees.
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. We finally got her to sit down in front of her laptop long enough to finish writing her book, “Song of Increase,” about her deep relationship with honeybees. Until recently she taught 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. The school is now a state-licensed vocational school. To learn more about this work, visit
The EQUINE Natural Movement School
Our farm is known for our heirloom apple tasting where people tasted 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
Annual Apple Fest we tasted 216 varieties of heirloom apples.
Apple Fest has Major Appeal
Watch Lisa Fenderson’s movie of our first (and far smaller) annual apple event
Heirloom Apples at the One-Room Schoolhouse
FARM TOURS & AGRITHERAPY (sorry, not doing these now)
We sometimes offered farm tours, usually an hour or two walk over hill and dale to see what’s happening on the farm. It was always different depending on what we planted, prepped, or harvested, who was just born, and what the bees are up to. 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 gave 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. Maybe some day we’ll return to doing these. They were fun.
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.
A Day on the Farm
read Family & Pie Stories