Busy Bee Farm is located in the Pine Barrens in Tabernacle, N.J. Pesticide free lavender, herbs, and native plants are the focal crops. The farm is also home to several beehives, and some are also located at other sites for educational purposes. As the Prices' home since 1996, the farm was created in 2006 with the addition of a greenhouse in 2007. Steve and Toni are members of the NJ Beekeepers Association and are charter members of the U.S. Lavender Growers Association. Busy Bee Farm is certified as a Bee Friendly Farm by Partners for Sustainable Pollination, and the Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation has recognized the farm's official Pollinator Habitat area. Busy Bee Farm also continues to participate in the NJ Forest Stewardship Program. We are committed to these practices and are available for educational programs related to these topics.
Updates From the Farm
May 10, 2015
Spring is finally here, and our market/events schedule is set up for the season. I'm sorry to say that once again WE WILL NOT HAVE CUT YOUR OWN LAVENDER HERE THIS SEASON. We will have enough lavender to create our products and may have an occasional limited number of bouquets for sale at the farmers market, but it will take us a few more years to build up our fields to our former amounts. We are replanting very slowly because we are still dealing with fungus issues.
Due to customer demand we are expanding our herbal offerings this year. Our various lavender/herbal teas sold very well, and our Herbes De Provence were also enjoyed by many. This season we'll include those again and hope to harvest many additional herbs to combine with our lavender like Bouquet Garni for cooking, some great herb mixes that we regularly use in our pet chickens' coop, and our terrific Lavender Mist Spray and Herbal Bug Spray.
So far our bees are having a great time with all the flowering plants and trees, and our harvest should be good. Our APPLEMINT HONEY will hopefully be available again between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so we're looking forward to that as always. NATIONAL POLLINATOR WEEK is June 15-21 this year and we'll try to offer as many educational bee programs as we can, so follow us on Facebook for these locations.
January 22, 2015
It’s early to tell, but so far our bees seem to be doing fine. They are wrapped up in black tar paper for warmth, and they seem to have plenty of honey left to eat. Here’s hoping that between now and Spring we won’t have crazy extremes of weather.
The last of the diseased lavender plants has been removed from our fields. Hopefully we’ll have cover crops planted there in Spring. We’re continuing to strategize against the fungal infections we’ve suffered, and will only be planting about 60 new plants this year. If we have Cut Your Own Lavender for 2015 it will be limited, so watch this site and our Facebook page for information in May.
More broom corn will be planted, and a trial of Indian corn as well. I’m hoping to use them for Fall decorations.
All of our herbal products did well last season so I’ve just completed a seed order for double what we planted last year. We will have some new herbal combinations for sale and may also be able to offer Cut Your Own Herbs with the Lavender as well. Stay tuned…
November 13, 2014
We had a wonderful summer weather-wise, but we are still struggling to build up our lavender plant supply. We field trialed some broom corn with the help of Dr. Sam Moyer that turned out to be beautiful and a lot of fun. Our bees are going into winter well supplied with food, and Steve wrapped the hives this year so they should stay warm and snug.
Mr. Bon Jovi , our Polish rooster, has recovered nicely from his summer beat-down from Henry, our Delaware rooster. It took Henry two years to realize that he was nearly twice Bon Jovi' size and strength, and it wasn't pretty when he did. But Bon Jovi seems very content living in his own safe quarters. It wasn't the simplest solution but they are both sweet pets and I couldn't part with either of them!
This market season has been extended, so please check the dates below for our upcoming events. Hope to see you there!
May 25, 2014
Due to a major lavender crop failure, we are sorry to announce that we will not have Cut Your Own Lavender here this year. We will have enough to make all of our products - just not our usual surplus for cutting. We're working hard to try new growing techniques and hope to see our "purple pickers" next year. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
April 16, 2014
It has not been a kind winter here at Busy Bee Farm, and we won't know the full extent of our losses for several more weeks. Our plans for on-farm essential oil distillation will have to wait because we've lost so many lavender plants. We will be changing some of our growing techniques and adding a new lavender variety when we put out 200 newplants next month. We hope our farm visitors will be patient as we strive to improve our appearance and make up for losses-it's going to take some time.
Our bees are bringing in lots of pollen right now but we've also lost some hives. Steve just set up 5 new ones and has re-queened where necessary. Toni is working hard to get more late season blooms in our Pollinator Habitat and hopes to establish a Monarch Waystation on the farm as well.
We'll also be planting some new trial crops. Sorghum for broom corn will go in this Spring, and then garlic, shallots, and aronia in the Fall. All of our herb starts in the greenhouse are doing well so we should have plenty of our herbal teas and herbes de Provence available by mid-summer. Hopefully the crazy weather patterns will settle down and everyone will have a good growing season. We look forward to seeing everyone soon at the BCCAC farmer's market, some terrific events, and for Cut Your Own Lavender here at Busy Bee Farm.
January 2014 - Season’s Greetings to All and Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy 2014!
We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of our regular and new customers. We really appreciate your business and kind support of all that we are trying to accomplish here at Busy Bee Farm. Your interest and encouragement are what have made us so grateful to now call so many of you “friend.”
As we move into 2014, our 8th year as official farmers and beekeepers, we continue to learn new things. Some of these years have been beautifully uncomplicated, while others have brought many challenges. This year we hope to modify some of our growing practices to help avoid fungus issues with our beloved lavender. We’ll plant more herbs to accommodate the demand for our lavender based herbal teas and Herbes De Provence, and we will continue to explore better user of our greenhouse. We still hope to produce enough lavender in the future to distill for our own locally grown, organic lavender essential oil. Busy Bee Farm is researching small plantings of additional, unique crops as well, but we are mostly looking forward to May 2014 when we will see you all again!
Please check our products section for availability in the off-season, and look for Spring posts about our upcoming season and cut your own lavender.
BUSY BEE FARM EVENTS, 2015
GARDENING EXPO, BCCAC Saturday,May 2
500 Centerton Rd. 10am-3pm
BCCAC FARMER'S MARKET Saturdays
500 Centerton Rd. 8:30am-1pm
Moorestown, NJ May 16-October 31
BORDENTOWN STREET FAIR Saturday, May 16 AND
Farnsworth Avenue Sunday, May 17
Bordentown, NJ 10am-4pm both days
VICTORIAN TIMES Sunday, May 17
Smithville Park noon-4pm
EARTH FAIR Sunday, June 14
Smithville Park 10:30-4pm
Saturday, June 20
PLANTS FOR POLLINATORS 10am BCCAC Farmhouse
BEE WALK & TALK 11am BCCAC field
BEE TALK Sunday, June 21
Rancocas Nature Center 1:30-3pm
794 Rancocas Rd.
NJ WILD OUTDOOR EXPO Saturday, Sept. 12
Colliers Mills Park AND Sunday, Sept. 13
Jackson, NJ 10am-5pm both days
OCEAN SPRAY CRANBERRY FEST Saturday, Oct. 3
Farnsworth Ave. AND Sunday, Oct.4
Bordentown, NJ 11am-5pm both days
COUNTRY LIVING FESTIVAL Sunday, Oct. 18
Batsto Village 10am-4pm
BCCAC HOLIDAY MARKET Saturday, NOV 21
500 Centerton Rd. Hours: TBD
BCCAC HOLIDAY MARKET Saturday,Dec.5
500 Centerton Rd. Hours: TBD
VICTORIAN HOLIDAY MARKET DATE/TIME: TBD