There are a few main focuses at the B.E.E. Community Farm. The first, is the development of our native orchard. We are learning the benefits and purposes of the plants that grow around us here in Birmingham. We are learning about the "weeds", and studying what they bring to the ecosystem. We are studying the health and medicinal benefits, and how to harvest and use them. We are planting trees, flowers and bushes that specific birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators like. We are learning which insects are helping us control the aphids, which ones are feeding on our plants, and who to attract that feast on mosquitos!
It is amazing the system that is already in place in our ecosystem. And what is more amazing, is that this system has worked for hundreds of thousands of years. It only makes sense that we learn FROM nature, and we learn to live in harmony with it.
This leads to our next major focus, which is developing this space into a community food forest. We are working to establish more perennial plants in the garden. We already have quite a few fruit trees, and we have been learning how to care for those, and what we can plant with them to further encourage healthy growth.
If you'd like to read more about this, here's a great article:
The basic idea of a food forest is a low-maintenance sustainable system based on a forest eco-system, and incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables.
The third element that composes B.E.E. Community Farm is the community. We have families at the garden that have their own plots. We have new picnic tables, we have collected some tools and gloves for people to use when they come out, we have more rain barrels. We are working to develop education in the garden and host classes, workshops and events to invite the community around us to join in, and work together to develop this for our friends and family, our neighbors, ourselves. A place to gather, relax, grow food, real food, reclaim our health that we seem to have lost! Let's return a little love and care to the Earth that provides us with food, water and air.