Here at Pine Mountain Settlement School, we are so thankful to be partnering with Grow Appalachia again in 2020! This amazing relationship has allowed us for 11 years now, to provide organic agriculture programming, access to much needed resources, and assistance with preserving and marketing agricultural products, all at no cost to more than 80 unique families in Harlan, Letcher, and Leslie counties.
A big part of this work includes various on-site demonstrations built around active components of our campus farm. The farm is designed to model small scale diversified mountain farming. And being located in the heart of the Kentucky mountains, with its’ narrow hollers and scarcity of bottom land, this means we must be creative and resourceful in the production methods we employ, an approach Appalachian people are perfectly suited for.
Beekeeping is a very suitable and most promising aspect of the mountain farming approach, and we are reflecting this firm belief, through an expansion of our own beekeeping efforts. Very soon we will be adding 11 new hives to the campus bee yard. As you can see in the photos, our maintenance and farm team have been busy this winter, preparing to take this demonstration to the next level. By securing and milling locally sourced timber, and building 11 new hives, we hope to show that all the resources necessary for high quality honey production are literally all around us.
Not only are the bees vital for pollination of our fruit and vegetable crops, but here in the mountains, they also yield some of the most complex, best tasting, and most pure honey in the world (at least we believe so). What is our reasoning behind such a claim? The fact that the incredibly diverse forests which surround our farms here in the region, provide a plethora of flora from which the bees can derive their precious bounty. This fact, along with the reality that there are very few large scale applications of agricultural pesticides and herbicides, means that nothing but natural goodness can be found in our honey!
We hope you can come visit us sometime soon, and that you can taste and see our good work, for yourselves.