Our Historic Manor and Urban Farm
Urban agriculture can be defined as growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables and raising animals in cities, a process that is accompanied by many other complementary activities such as processing and distributing food, collecting and reusing food waste and rainwater, and educating, organizing, and employing local residents. Urban agriculture is integrated in individual urban communities and neighborhoods, as well as in the ways that cities function and are managed, including municipal policies, plans, and budgets.
What is an Urban Farm?
An urban farm grows food in an urban area on land – usually either a backyard or a vacant lot – that would not typically be dedicated to producing food.
So what makes an urban farm a farm and not a garden? Two factors tend to come into play. First, many urban farms choose the term farm because they tend animals as well as grow plants. Chickens coops, bee hives, and rabbit warrens are the most common urban farm livestock elements. Turkeys, goats, and even pigs are also raised on urban farms. The space needed to graze sheep or cattle/cows is too great for most urban farms, some suburban farms, however, have larger grazing livestock.
Second, sometimes urban farmers see themselves as such (rather than gardeners) because even if they don't have any livestock, they feed more than the household that tends the farm.
Our Bee Hives
Ever heard of a gift with purchase? We got a huge surprise when we found 100,000 bees had made a home in our roof. We had a 4’ x 8’ hole cut in the roof and the bees with 100 pounds of wax and honey are now at “camp” waiting for the new roof. Then they get moved back to their new rooftop condo. But wait, there’s more. In the meantime the hole in the wall was never sealed and a new hive has moved in! We will do the same with them!
We don’t keep them accessible to the public because they have stingers. But on a sunny day, you will see them gathering pollen from the flowers in the nursery and in our gardens around the farm and doing their work, pollinating inside the high tunnels.
Bees need a variety of flowering plants throughout the spring summer and fall, and they like most to visit the plants with smaller flowers heads, think Queen Ann’s Lace not Tulips. Our bees are not placed right in front of a big field of flowering clover of course so they have to work a little bit and search for a wide array of flowers. This produces a very unique and complex tasting honey.
Bees can travel about two miles in any direction in search for nectar. They don’t fly much when the air temperature is below 55F. They hibernate, feeding on the honey they have made through the coldest months.