ACTION PLAN: The Country Thyme Farm Bee Friendly Farm Charlotte County
We are going to create several lavender beds (French & English) for the bees & butterflies. We will split our colonies in April doubling the size of our apiary. Additionally, a neighbor has bee hives that live within 3 miles of our property located in Randolph, Virginia. The honey bee has a potential foraging distance of up to 6 miles. This project will help them, as well as other feral colonies in the area flourish by providing them with a good food source. The funding will be spent on: 1) the purchase of plants, 2) lumber to make the raised beds, 3) procuring proper soil to plant them in, 4) training to ensure the plants are planted and maintained properly, as well as any tax & shipping costs. The 2-day training course is offered at the Lavender Academy in Wytheville, Virginia and will be attended to 1 or 2 members of the team.
Our farm is situated on 48 acres 20 acres wooded with a pond. Of the remaining 28 acres we have designated 1-2 acres for the lavender and other pollinator beds. We will continue to expand the lavender beds each year through cuttings and layering techniques as well by seeding to increase the size of the lavender beds, providing a rich source of food for bees and butterflies in our community. It is anticipated that after one year we will be able to offer lavender and other pollinator plants to the Halifax Beekeepers Association for its members at no cost. This is rural Southern Virginia (Charlotte County) and the ideal place to create this honey bee & butterfly sanctuary.
This project will typically be executed on weekends as follows once the funding is released:
1)The location was selected and action plan developed at the first planning meeting Feb 29th
2)The lumber for the raised beds will be purchased at Lowes and delivered within 7 days ARO
3)The construction of the beds will be completed 7 days from delivery of lumber
4)Consult with Lavender Academy (in Wytheville, VA) to determine the proper soil composition
5)Source lavender plants (variety of types for longer blooming window) from local growers to ensure compatibility with our USDA growing zone (7) and enhance the link with the community
6)Order 15 cubic yards of soil 14 days after construction of beds
7)Prepare the beds for planting upon delivery of soil 7 days
8)Once plants are delivered they will be planted by the team within 3 days
Please note that this schedule is tentative and dependent upon weather conditions and supplier availability.
IMPACT: Our farm and community will benefit in several ways. The honey bee is in danger globally. This project will provide a quality source of food for the bees which increases their ability to propagate. Honey bees are essential to farming. The cuttings made available to local bee keepers in the area will expand our goal to the community at no cost. Lastly, the connection with local growers will help publicize this project and encourage more participation in pollination & bee keeping activities in Charlotte County Virginia.