Honey and Crops

Author: Wanda Patsche

Bees have always fascinated me. And because I love to learn more about the world around me, I wanted to learn more about the business of making honey. Hence, “making honey” is part of our current virtual ag tour. Along with honey, I also am intrigued by the ingenuity used by farmers on their crop farms. Not only learning how they use the newest technology, but also employing conservation practices which ultimately helps keep our soils healthy. On Tuesday, July 21 we will visit two sites. The first stop will be at the Mark and Sara Hewitt farm, located in Kilkenny MN, where they own an apiary and have a honey business, Sweet Cheeks Honey. Our second stop will be at the Bryan and Lauren Biegler farm located in Lake Wilson, MN where they grow corn and soybeans.

Sweet Cheeks Honey

Mark and Sara are a small, young farmer owned apiary located in Kilkenny, Minnesota. Sara and I were part of the MARL (Minnesota Ag Rural Leadership) program and it was there where I watched her passion about agriculture and together with her husband Mark (who is equally passionate) it will be fun to watch and see their future in agriculture. The reason I chose “honey” as part of the tour was personal. I wanted to learn more about bees and pollinators and the honey making business. And I think there are others who feel the same way. So together, WE are going to learn and you as educators, can take this back to your classroom. Besides that—there are some really GREAT additional Minnesota Ag in the Classroom pollinator and bee lessons for you to use in their classrooms! Mark and Sara also farm where they incorporate conservation and precision planting practices.

Mark and Sara have a simple mission – provide a delicious, pure product while supporting pollinators. Their honey is uncomplicated, simple, and ridiculously sweet. You can check out their website at Sweet Cheeks Honey. Mark is the head beekeeper. He loves spending time checking the hives, learning about hive health and improving our apiary. Sara is the marketer. She loves updating social media, working on the website, taking pictures and of course, planting lots of flowers around the farm for the bees.

Biegler Farms

Bryan and Lauren Biegler farm near Lake Wilson, MN. Bryan is a third-generation farmer and incorporates conservation practices and technology (both machinery and seed) into their farm. You will get an up-close and personal view of new conservation practices and see how they use the latest in technology. It is amazing to see the newest technology farmers use for improved efficiencies and help make their farms continually better. Lauren and I met through an organization, CommonGround (where we talk and answer questions other moms about how their food is raised and grown.) She has a wonderful way to connect with others sharing what they do on their farm and why they do it. I also find it equally interesting to see the new innovations using soybeans and corn. For example, did you know there are many plastics that comes directly from corn and soybeans? We hope to share some of those products and how relatable those products will be to your students.

So plan on hopping on the “virtual bus” and join us on Tuesday, July 21 for a information-filled tour!

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