Years ago someone gave me a little almond tree…it’s a lovely tree, very pretty in the spring when it is covered with white blooms. I think it may be a dwarf tree. However, it has very rarely born almonds. I bought another tree, thinking it might need a second bloomer? Not much changed.
Then two years ago, I made a deal with a beekeeper to bring in a hive and a storage super. The bees flourished. The honey is unique and abundant. Thanks to the folks at Alameda County Beekeepers Association, we’ve added to our hives and now have three large and very active hives. We have harvested honey twice and look forward to doing this again soon. And this year, the almond trees have almonds!
Once again, this project is dependent upon the folks who live at The Ranch…we work the equipment and take care of the bees together. It’s a lot of work but very very interesting and thankfully there are residents at The Ranch who are responsible about caring for and managing the hives.
We are working on a system for sharing the proceeds of the hive production…like so much at The Ranch, it’s a work in progress. Thus far we’ve been impressed and somewhat surprised as to the amount the hives have produced. Our hives appear to be prodigious. Work wise, like the gardens, will function better if there are many involved. So far, it looks like that is happening.
Any one person would be hard pressed to own and care for so much garden, chickens, bees but together we have managed to make it work. There is no mandate to work on the vegetable beds or prune the roses; there is no requirement that you clean the chicken coop or harvest the compost but doing these things together creates a sense of community, a sense of belonging. And, people tend to stay longer, I have several tenants who have been at The Ranch for over a decade.