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Plans for The Australian Native Bee Sanctuary & an Ethnobotanical Garden on the Farm
Yay! Very excited to receive a letter from the Minister for Resources and Energy and Tourism to let us know we’ve been successful in the Australia-wide TQUAL Grant program, which means the big dreams for our sustainable small farm are going to become reality…though not without a lot of blisters
One of our dearest loves are bees - honey bees and native bees - and our vision is to develop a native bee sanctuary, to be set within a 5 acre ethnobotanical garden.
Ethnobotanics is all about useful plants species, so there will be a wide range of bee fodder plants (nectar and pollen producers), as well as plants of importance to humanity ranging from the edible to the medicinal to building/craft materials.
We’re so excited because it’s going to be a vibrant, ever-evolving organic garden that our farmstay guests, bus tour groups and visitors will enjoy and be able to learn so much from. It brings to the area more resilience in the types of plant species and food production available locally, and it will provide a really wide variety of year round pollen and nectar for stingless native bees.
There will be a mix of annuals and perennials, natives and exotics, flowers, bushes, shrubs and trees. We’ll be installing a farm produce shed with Honey Tasting Bar in which people will be able to taste and buy the various seasonal honey produced on the farm (from our honey bees as well as the tiny amount of sugarbag honey produced by native bees), diverse produce from the garden and our other farm-made products like goat’s milk soaps, beeswax balms etc. A lot of the focus will be on sustainability…of course!
It’s just an empty paddock right now, and we have until March 2013 to complete it, so there’s going to be a lot of hard yakka (and shovel blisters!) between now and then. But it will be a lot of fun and so inspiring to be able to help people enjoy, experience and make the connection between the little insect that does so much, nature, farming, food and local area resilience.
If anyone knows a great horticulturalist who’d like to work on it with us, let us know!
Photos below: the blank canvas paddock, inside a native bee hive, a sunflower…useful for pollen, oil, seeds and mulch.