Bee has experience building and managing organic farms in urban and rural environments. She enjoys both tractor and hand-scale production and has expertise in crop management. From crop planning to record keeping, to integrated pest management, and post-harvest handling, she enjoys it all!
Bee has extensive experience managing staff and working to create an environment that fosters employee growth and satisfaction. In addition to farm management she has experience in business management, direct marketing, sales and PR and accounting.
Her favorite chores are hula hoeing and knife weeding. She believes that farming is both and art and a science and that the best fertilizer is the farmers footprints.
Bee’s Farming Story
Bee’s interest in farming started in high school, where she started a class that studied the food system and its effects on consumers, farm workers and the environment. As part of the class she volunteered on several local organic farms and fell in love with the work. In college she studied food systems with a focus on economics and the environment. It was there that she learned the history of agriculture and studied in Cuba. After college she worked in Ypsilanti, MI with Growing Hope. There she helped start and manage school and community gardens, and farmers markets. Bee moved to NYC to pursue urban farming. As the Caretaker and Farm Manager for the Wyckoff Farm Museum, she started the Youth Entrepreneurship Program, working with youth to start their own value-added company using products grown on site. She worked with other NYC farms to create a network of farms that shared curriculum and best practices.
In the Bronx she managed two farmers markets and taught garden based education programs at a local head start and an after-school program. Wanting to improve her growing skills, Bee returned to school to get a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California Santa Cruz.
In 2009 she co-founded The Youth Farm, an education focused 1-acre urban farm on the front lawn of a Brooklyn High School. There she worked to manage production for NYC first all city grown CSA, a farmers market and restaurant sales. Bee was the director of the farm working on development, finances and PR. With her co-manager, Molly Culver she started a 20-week, hands-on, intensive urban farm training program for adults. She teaches everything from harvest efficiency to soil chemistry.
In an effort to increase the number of local farms, Bee helped to form Farm School NYC, a 2-year certificate program in Urban Farming based on farms and gardens throughout the city. As an instructor she teaches Small Farm Planning & Design, teaching students how to plan a small farm business, from crop planning, enterprise budgets, to the legal details of accounting and running educational programs.
After a desire to produce on a larger scale, Bee moved to the Hudson Valley to manage Tiny Hearts Farm, a 15-acre specialty cut flower farm and floral design company. At Tiny Hearts Farm she developed her floral design skills, from boutonnieres to decorated arches, she loves using foraged and unusual flowering plants.
Bee currently is co-owner of Get Down Farms, a naturally raised pasture poultry farm in Dexter MI; and the Farm Manager for Robin Hills Farm in Chelsea MI. In her free time Bee has traveled extensively visiting and working on farms all over the world to learn about best practices and alternative systems.