2022 was one very busy year! Let’s take a look back…
We more than doubled our growing space, planted out an additional pollinator meadow, and added a second greenhouse. Let’s not forget about the 300+ pollinator friendly trees and shrubs planted last year alone. We were very busy bees!
Many individuals are surprised to find out that beekeeping is not my first love. Granted, I adore my sweet bees, but I fell in love with growing food and flowers while helping my dad garden, as a young girl. As soon as I graduated from college, gardening became my passion. I wanted our kids to know the importance of playing outside, digging in the dirt, and growing healthy food.
Eight years ago, I purchased 2 honey bee colonies to bring more pollinators to our gardens. At the time, I had no intent of expanding, yet bee math happened! I find “bee math” to be much like “chicken math”. If you have chickens, you get it! Over the past eight years, I have loved offering hive tours, running Bee Camp for Kids, and assisting amazing individuals with their beekeeping journeys through our mentorship program. But, as the bee business grew, I found less and less time to tend to the gardens.
Over the past two years, everything in life felt unbalanced. I knew my hive numbers needed to drop, for running 30 colonies on 13 acres was way too many. My goal was never to have competition between our honey bees and native pollinators. As sad as I was to lose 50% of my colonies in 2021 and 2022, after overwintering 100% prior, I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Mother Nature took care of bee math for me, knowing I never could.
Last year, during our month long botanical garden adventure throughout the Midwest and East coast, we made the decision to change our name from “Indigo Acres Apiary” to “Indigo Acres Pollinator Sanctuary”. This title felt like a true representation of our passion… to grow, protect, and create for all pollinators. Note, I might be the only face you see here, but I have an amazing spouse that is a passionate gardener, as well.
So, what does this mean for 2023? Balance…Blooms…Bees. We have come full circle!
We are growing like never before, with our largest growing expansion to date! If you think bee and chicken math is rough, try dahlia math! We are currently constructing 3 large hoop houses to grow and protect precious cut flower blooms. Some of the 85+ varieties of dahlias we will be growing this season will be housed undercover. Numerous low tunnels are also being added, to the cottage garden, to ensure flawless ranunculus blossoms.
Finally, we are installing our second propagation greenhouse for additional growing space! We love growing for our pollinator friends, but as avid gardeners and flower fanatics, we are so excited to grow cut flowers for people, too. We can’t wait to share our blooms with you!
Oh, and if any of our 6 kiddos are reading this post…yes, plan on coming home to assist with building 4 extra large legos!
Wishing everyone a beautiful spring season!
Roda & Crew