When we took over farming operations back in 2019, one of our goals for the farm was to encourage pollinators to return to their former glory here at Wildberry. Matt can fondly recall as a child the wild clover in the fields being full of buzzing bees, crouching down to visibly watch the bees collect pollen… our family wasn’t experiencing this, and we began to notice that bees and butterflies were scarce on the farm.
Pollinators aid in so much on a farm the most important being pollinating vegetable and fruit plants and trees. Without pollinators, this has to be done by hand. Our theory is that heavy use of herbicides and pesticides on the land killed off the pollinators’ source of food, plants like clover, and other “weeds.” Once we let our naturalized meadow establish, we began to see the pollinators return. Our wildflower field was soon brimming with various pollinators.
Between our work bringing the pollinators’ food source back to the farm, coupled with the rise of local beekeeping in the immediate area, the rise of honey bees and other pollinators has been astounding in just a few short years. But our work here has just begun, we are committed to forming naturalized areas around the farm where pollinators can thrive, we even have plans to introduce our own honey bees to the farm!
When we say sustainable farming, we aren’t just talking about the soil, or runoff, we are speaking into facilitating the symbiotic relationship between us and the land and animals around us!