Journal corner 11/18: It's buzzing here!
By: Trang Tran
It’s buzzing here!
Yes, it’s literally buzzing here at our Fargreen farms! We’ve just included a bee component in our farm ecosystem. So now, besides our delicious mushrooms, natural veggies and local rice produced in our signature closed-loop model, we’re also serving natural honey and it fits in the loop, too.
In fact, it even helps enhancing the loop for most veggies and fruits are pollinated by honey bees. It’s so strange that now with the so-called “development” in agriculture, this crucial component of a healthy natural ecosystem is so often undermined and ignored, even by those who are working in the natural sustainability space like us at Fargreen.
So how did it happen? How did we come to add this piece in our picture? Well, it happened by accident (like most stories did). It was when one of our great friends and chefs at a hotel partner where we supplied our mushrooms asked us to help with his hotel’s sustainability initiative in installing beehives at their premise together with a natural kitchen garden.
It got me surprised (and furious!) at myself for the fact that I’d always loved honey and used it almost everyday and yet I had never talked to a bee farmer or been curious about how honey was produced. So, I was inspired to connect with bee farmers and learn about their work. I could go on forever about all the things that I’ve learned so far about the bees and their farmers. But one thing that really struck me was the fact that bee farmers are also struggling to stay with their bees, almost like our farmers struggling to stay on their land and keep on farming. They told us that they had to migrate their bees from place to place and from time to time, like the nomadic shepherds and their sheeps. They said it’s hard and almost impossible to find a fixed safe habitat for the bees to just be in nature and do their work. This is because of the increasingly chemical sprayed farm areas in Vietnam for farmers desperately finding way to boost up their failing crops to earn more money, and also because of the shrinking natural area thanks to the rapid urbanization process happening all over the country.
I was completely shocked at the realization that now in this so-called modern world we are living in, everything seems to be processed in separate bubbles and when we decide to inflate one, we don't even consider if that would mean to deflate or burst the others. And instead of trying to understand the natural connection and correlation between things, we try to fix the problems we see by further isolating things and forcing on our human intervention unnecessarily…
Back to our honey bee story, since I learned about the problems of the bee farmers, I decided to host them and their bees at our farms. Turned out, it's the most natural thing to do and it doesn't cost us a cent to host them there. Our farm spaces are free of chemical and their bees can be sure to buzz happily and even help our products by natural pollination. A win-win for everyone, just like the essence of the Fargreen story. So from now on, beside #goingfarbygoing hashtag, now you can follow us with a #buzzingfarbybuzzinggreen hashtag, too. :)
Also, I'm delighted to share with you the updated vision and dream of Fargreen. I hope you will continue to support us to realize this dream and vision. If you can't come to buy or enjoy our mushrooms/rice/veggies/honey in person, you can consider supporting us and our farmers through our newly fundraising partner Omprakash website here. Such support means so much to a young organization like us. Thank you very much!