We Help Feed the Hungry
Last year, Cardinal Apiaries gave more than 150 pounds of fresh vegetables, honey, and eggs to local families in need. All of this food was produced on our homestead. We want to do more to help. With your support, we can grow and distribute several hundred pounds of fresh and wholesome fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey, and eggs each year to needy families in Fredericksburg and Stafford County. Inspired by projects such as the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank’s “Grow For Your Neighbor” initiative, we are planting our own half-acre food forest to serve a variety of needs.
We have more than a dozen fruit trees planted so far, along with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and grapes. Our food forest is beginning to take shape. The chickens have begun to prepare the soil for the next planting phase and our bees are humming, ready to pollinate the crops. We are preparing to add another dozen fruit trees next spring.
We are encouraged and inspired by the individuals who donated seeds, raspberry and blackberry canes, and blueberry bushes to the effort. Thank you so very much! If you would like to feed the hungry, improve the environment, and enjoy wholesome organically grown food, please help us get the forest going by clicking the Donate button at the bottom of this page.
To put the cost and benefit of this project into perspective, consider that our local grocery store has apples on sale right now for $2 per pound. What if, instead of spending $20 to buy 10 pounds of apples to distribute today, you used the money to buy an apple tree? With proper care, that tree will produce 50 or 60 pounds of apples every year for 20 years. That’s at least 1,000 pounds of apples for $20 and a little work. Cardinal Apiaries’ food forest will include about 40 fruit and nut trees, dozens of berry bushes, and annual vegetables like broccoli, summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It is completely reasonable to expect the mature forest to produce 1,800 pounds of food a year. Please help us get started!
The first and most important goal for our food forest is to make a difference in the lives of people in our community who experience food insecurity. Maybe we cannot solve the underlying issues that lead to food insecurity, but our family knows how to grow food, and we can help feed the hungry.
Our food forest will create opportunities for us to get to know our neighbors who work with us to serve others. There will be trees to prune, other maintenance to perform, and food to pick and deliver. What a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to come and work together in a beautiful environment for the benefit of others.
People are the heart of a food forest. The people who help the forest to be productive and the people who receive the forest’s bounty are the reason the forest exists. Food forests are planted for food, but the most important products of a food forest are stronger families, stronger communities, and pride of accomplishment.
Food forests benefit the environment too. They harness natural processes that have been replaced in modern agriculture by the use of commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. A mature food forest generally does not require application of synthetic chemicals because it provides a rich habitat that supports a huge variety of insects, beetles, mollusks, spiders, and other organisms that work together naturally to help food crops to thrive.
Would you like to do something to help the bees and other pollinators? A food forest provides habitat not only for honey bees, but for a host of native pollinators like butterflies and bumble bees.
Do you value organically grown produce? A food forest produces the best quality all-natural food you could ask for, and in a sustainable manner to boot. Many of the plants in a food forest will reproduce themselves naturally if they are permitted to, and the natural management of plant pests and disease means that a food forest can be maintained organically and with very few commercial inputs after it is established.
Do you enjoy eggs from organically grown chickens? A food forest creates a healthy food-rich environment for chickens, and chickens provide a number of essential functions in the forest, like eating harmful insects and grubs, aerating and fertilizing the soil, and eating weeds and weed seeds.
Would you like to be an agent for change in our community? Would you like to feed the hungry, reduce greenhouse gasses, and beautify the earth? Then join Cardinal Apiaries’ Food Forest initiative!
We need to purchase and plant several dozen more fruit and nut trees, as well as a few more berry bushes and other edibles. We need to purchase and spread loads of mulch and composted manure. Some of these elements are fairly inexpensive. Others, especially the fruit trees, are not.
Please help our Food Forest to come to life by clicking the Donate button, which will take you to Paypal’s secure website where you may indicate the amount you wish to donate.
Our sincerest thanks to those who are catching the vision of community-based relief for hungry families.