Showing posts from 2019

Keeping Bees on Every Farm the Easy Way

Published in Farming Magazine, Spring 2019,Vol.19, Issue 1,No. 73 I live in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, but my farm is in southcentral Kentucky. I am also a beekeeper, but my bees are almost 6400 miles away. Yet I keep bees, I keep them responsibly, and I do not really have to worry about over-wintering, frequent inspections, and all the other beekeeping “duties” that make conventional beekeeping such an onerous and expensive task. In fact, my guidebook for beekeeping was written in the 19th century by a French beekeeper, Georges de Layens, who developed a hive known today as the “Layens Hive.” De Layens describes how he set up beeyards that only had to be visited twice a year, spring and fall, to inspect them and harvest honey, both of which only took a few minutes. As a small-scale, organic farmer whose entire 15-acre farm is dedicated to bees, and whose apiary consists at present of about a dozen hives, I have come to appreciate the powerful role that bees play not only in na

What Can We Learn from the Amish?

Published in Communities: Life in Cooperative Culture magazine Spring 2019, issue no.182                        For most people throughout human history, community and land were inseparable. From the earliest hunters and gathers, people banded together in small groups for mutual support. Even the Creation story of many religions has a Creator making man and woman together - the first community - and placing them in a garden. With the family unit, the community grew to include others to form tribes and as time progressed, to form cultures and nations. For the early Christian hermits living in the deserts of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, isolation was normally only temporary as the hermits still came together in community every week to worship, break bread, and commune. In fact, the very words “communion” and “community” are clearly related - coming together as a community to share. Truly, man has never been alone and was never really meant to be alone.           Since man and woman first