Our Farming Journey From Past to Present 2015-2020

farming farming journey

2020 Here you are...

by L.A. Ingrao

It's January 2020, What the flying F@&%. You get the point. 

I looked back recently at all the post before this. And within them all, there is a sense of WOW, how are we here already. It's been six years since we moved to Michigan and the weather never ceases to amaze; every day a little different. Adam and I grew up in California. The consistency in weather creates a sense of comfort.  Where as the experience of every changing weather causes attention and alertness that otherwise we didn't have.  I cherish and love so many aspects of the changing seasons. Living within the seasons can only be described as magical for me. So the reason for the "WOW, how are we here already" is because the sky is always moving and moving fast. 

During the dead of winter we get about 9 hours of sunlight here in the north. With the sun rising around 8 AM and setting around 5 PM. And then in the middle of summer the sun will rise around 6 AM and sets around 10 PM. That's roughly 16 hours of sunlight. And then you have the in between times where sunlight is always fluctuating. I am in love with all of this. 

So here we are... in the far north and these two Californians are LOVING it. Everything is covered in snow at the moment, close to 3 ft.  It's conference season and farm planning that's keeping us busy these days. We have hopes of opening a store this summer, putting up a hoop houses and many more projects. But we dream big and we'll keep posted on our progress. Adam has also started vlogging (video blogs) our farming  journey.

2019 Has Arrived...Holy Shit

by L.A. Ingrao

September...  We moved...some may have caught this news through some social media platform. We sold our home in Lansing, packed up much of our farm on the east side and headed north in September 2019. We also made sure to be in ceremony for our departure of Bee Wise Farms South. We worked very hard to be the best stewards we could be for the space and we are so grateful for the Ingham County Land Bank for their endless programmatic and farm support. It is with them, we are able to grow into our space in the north. It was with great pleasure to turn our farm of 4 years over to a beginning flower farmer. We wish all great things to her. 

April 12... It's the middle of April and very hard to believe. BWF South has absolutely no snow, except for the occasional and brief hail. The lavender plants are growing fabulously and so far have survived winter with little loss. The weeds are popping up and so are the Iris's. Please stop by the farm between May and June to see the many stunning colors these flowers have to offer.  In 2018 we marked 20 varieties of Iris's and can't wait to see what arrives this year. We'll be sure to post photos as the flowers bloom so folks can come by. 

Bee Wise Farms North is still completely full of snow. We are talking feet of snow.  Honestly, I'm a bit worried about the lavender plants. But sitting around worrying won't get the weeds pulled in the south.

The bees are doing great at both farms. They have overwintered nicely with very little loss. We are excited about bringing you this years varieties.       

January 10... Almost one year since an update and it sure has been a busy one. So here we go; Most of the Lavender plant survived the transplants they went through during the flood. We lost just a couple and that was probably due to the spring trim I gave them. Last year, we planted roughly 1500 lavender plants at BWF North and South and 61 varieties of Gladiolus at BWF North. We are thrilled for the summer and fall bloom. 

2018 Shenanigans

by L.A. Ingrao

March 20

It's been the year and it's only MARCH

Bee Wise Farms North: This year has been full of excitement and angst and it's only March 5th. Adam completed his PhD and we bought a farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our plans for Bee Wise Farms North are simple. It will be our primary apiary, honey house (for extraction) and approximately 1 acre of lavender will go into production in 2018.

Bee Wise Farms South: This year is off to an interested start. We have only lost a couple of hives and feel strong going into spring. Did you see/hear Lansing on the news for the flooding we had in February. The 50 degree days (in Febraury) caused all the ice to melt, raising the rivers and flooding the streets. Our farm and many homes were in the path of that flood, including our farm. We evacuated as many did. We removed every hive we had from the property. We even dug up several lavender plants not knowing if they flooded when the water would recede. It was probably in hast, but we feared loosing our most valuable plants. We didn't flood, although water reached the farms edge. It was quite amazing to see the water rush in, then just stop. Like someone simply turned off the faucet. We greatly appreciate all the support from the city in reverting the water away from our little, priceless neighborhood.

We are looking forward to getting to the soil. It's tough, right! The crocuses are rising and snow is excepted tomorrow. Wondering how the lavender plants are doing after the winter evacuation of 2018? Lacey has been checking on them daily and will provide an update as the season gets going.



by L.A. Ingrao

August 2017

Full Bloom and Hives...

It has been a very product year so far for Bee Wise Farms. We have been able to harvest honey this summer and our cut flowers are in full bloom. We have Iris's, Gladiolus, Cone flower, Calendula and more.  We will have no shortage of honey this fall and will let you know when it's available on our site and Facebook page. We appreciate all the support we receive from our community.

February 2017

2016 was FULL...and this includes our bellies with honey. To ensure sustainability of the Heroes to Hives Program , we transitioned the program to MSU Extension. This program now falls under the Michigan Pollinator Initiative. Please read more.

Bee Wise Farms was not lucky in veggies as it was in our honey harvest last year. We will change a bit of our growing style this year to protect ourselves from the deer and other farm residence.  We have a full herbal healing garden and hundred of iris bulbs planted. We look forward to sharing those picture with you as they arrive.

As for hives, we will expand to 20 hives over 5 sites in 2017. As honey becomes available we will let everyone know on our Facebook page and on our website.  


by L.A. Ingrao

February 2016

We expand...

In January 2016, Bee Wise Farms, LLC was established and we acquired more land, expanded our operations to include more vegetables and cut flowers. We also began our Veteran Mentorship program, teaching five veterans about urban bee keeping. We are excited to continue sharing our development with you. Feel free to stay connected with us through Facebook.    


by L.A. Ingrao

September 2015. 

We've Got Hives...

May 2015 

Capturing the Journey...

With our current busy schedules we wanted to ensure we provide, at least, the fundamentals of our development. Here are some photos to share the journey and to capture the process as it happens. Our goals for the farm includes education, food access, and a safe place to explore what nature has to offer. We hope you enjoy walking through this experience with us and thank you for witnessing.