Monthly Archives: October 2014

Carson and Bees takes the CalFresh Challenge

When I’m not helping Carson run the “family business,” I work as the Community Outreach Coordinator at North Coast Opportunities in Ukiah. This week Carson and I are tackling the CalFresh Challenge, in which participants must eat for only $5 per person, per day, for five days. Follow along with us via a daily journal about the experience, which you can find here: Calfresh Challenge Journal.

Thanks for the support!


market bounty
What $30 at the farmers market gets you.

General Mills and the “Bee Friendlier” campaign

Cascadian Farms is the organic branch of General Mills, which represents 3% of the company’s total sales. Although as a major food producer General Mills uses a lot of pesticide – which has been directly linked to declining pollinator populations – a new campaign started by the Cascadian Farm branch called “Bee Friendlier” is an encouraging step in the right direction.

Although the #1 thing you can do to help pollinators is plant flowers, they have to be organic! These days most everything is treated – often at the seed level – with pesticide. The pollen the bees gather is poisoned by the pesticide the plant’s seed was rolled in (or sprayed in the large warehouse nursery where it was born). The only surefire way to help and not further hinder pollinators is to plant seeds whose packaging clearly states that zero treatment has been applied.

It’s easy to demonize companies like General Mills for being huge food conglomerates that use pesticides, pay low wages, and destroy the land. But GM and companies like it are products of society, and they directly reflect consumer’s demands: Americans want abundant and cheap food, so the current food system is built accordingly. Now, however, we’re taking a collective pause to reexamine the implications of valuing cost over everything else, and there’s a slow but steady sea change happening.

This “bee friendlier” campaign is a part of that sea change. And so are we! Each of us decides what the system looks like based on where we spend our money. In Ukiah we’re blessed with a year-round farmers’ market, a socially conscious co-op, and a Friedman’s that carries organic seeds. If you could spend 10% of your food budget on local producers, plus a few dollars a year to plant organic flower seeds, you’ll make a bigger impact than you realize on the food system AND the health of your friendly backyard pollinators.

Farewell, Farmers Market

Today was the last day of the Redwood Valley Farmers Market. It was an excellent season that saw the market grow in spades (thanks in large part to our enthusiastic market manager Steph) and helped us connect with the community. We made great friends with other food producers (I’m looking at you, Black Dog Farm!) and found a new customer base that is just as enthusiastic about local, raw honey as we are (special shout out to Ronnie, who bought something from us every single week).

We’re already looking forward to next year’s market, which will start in June. Until then you can still get Carson and Bees honey from us directly, or at a few local spots (including Pizza Etc in Redwood Valley and Westside Renaissance Market in Ukiah).

Thanks for a fun summer, Redwood Valley!

first RV market