Sanctuary Farms began not so much as a new venture, but an extension of a long journey of attachment to the land and farming by the owner and founder.
My innate love of animals and gardening turned into a passion for veterinary medicine and farming that has always been a part of my big picture. When I landed on Camano Island the gardening never seemed as rewarding or productive as it should be, and pollinators were not as plentiful as expected….and hence, the drive to improve took over and honey bees became the solution to not only my local garden problem, but seemed like a simple generic solution to food resource issues everywhere.
Our goal is to propagate small farm resources; to generalize food production instead of concentrate it, thereby reducing the need for intensive management techniques to combat pest and disease issues. As a veterinarian who focused my entire career on intensively managed animal production systems, I realized that we cannot continue as we are in agriculture. As we compress our agricultural area with a population that will continue to absorb workable land for homes and streets, we will be required to readjust our thinking to support agricultural endeavors on a much smaller, but more expansive way – spreading the wealth of food production to more smaller production units – more growers, not less – the opposite direction that corporate farms and conglomerates are headed.
We here at Sanctuary promote the “community model” of sustainable farming by facilitating partnerships with home owners that want to support pollinators by siting hives throughout the Camano Island, Snohomish, Skagit, and King county areas. As I tell people about the venture and the bees, the questions about the status of the bees and how they can help always follows. So, as our story and venture evolves, more and more potential caretakers are engaging and wanting to be a part of pollinator support. In order to help them help the bees in a productive way, we decided to offer hive tours, beekeeping classes, and hive placement for beginners fulfilling a desire to become hobbyists in the great way of the bee.
We are on a Great Adventure – every day we look forward to creating and innovating new and exciting opportunities to accommodate the interests and engagement of our communities, and we hope that you’ll come along and enjoy the journey with us.