Making a Difference: Cascadian Farm Organics & Bees

This month, we launch a new blog series Making a Difference highlighting the brands we carry and how they are making a positive difference in our communities and world. When we buy products, we buy more that just that- we buy into how the company operates, how they interact with our planet, and more.

The story of Cascadian Farm begins with the story of our founder, Gene Kahn. 40 years ago, Gene was an idealistic 24-year old grad-school dropout from Chicago, who just wanted to make a difference in the world. He recognized the delicate balance between nature and humans. Inspired by reading “Silent Spring” and “Diet For A Small Planet”, Gene wanted to go back to the land and farm in a way that would not harm the natural beauty of the earth or her inhabitants. So he set out to farm organically on a little stretch of land next to the Skagit River in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.

40 years ago, 24 year-old, Gene Kahn, was inspired after reading Silent Spring and Diet For A Small Planet. He wanted to farm, and to do so in a manner that would support the earth and those who lived here. Following that dream, Kahn started to farm using organic practices on a small piece of land in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.

"Since 1972, Cascadian Farm has grown beyond our original farm and is recognized as a pioneer in converting conventional farms to organic. We were organic before 'organic' was a trend, or even before it was certified by the USDA. From day one, we’ve farmed in a way that helps to preserve the soil, and safeguards the rivers and streams around us, working in harmony with the land."

Cascadian Farm goes beyond using organic farming practices. Recognizing that bees pollinate 2/3 of the world's crops, they have started a program to educate the public on the importance of bees.

"Organic farms, like Cascadian Farm, grow crops without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. This helps improve the quality and fertility of the soil, reduces the environmental impact of agriculture, and avoids the potential harm to pollinators that chemicals pose."

Here are some tips from Cascadian Farms to help you save bees and protect our food sources for generations to come.

1) Avoid using pesticides in your garden. "Insecticides are chemicals that kill pests. Unfortunately, they can also be fatal to pollinators. Avoiding these chemicals in your own garden will go a long way to help bees thrive."

2) Purchase organic seedlings and seeds for your home garden. (On a side note, Lake Valley Organic Seeds will be here soon!)

3) Plant wildflowers. "Different regions have different plants that make great bee-friendlier food." Click here to find out more for your region.

4) Create bee nest sites. "Not all bees live in hives—some create nests in soil and brush piles. By leaving soil undisturbed in your garden, you can help create a home for a bee. Leaving some piles of branches in the corners of your yard is another great way to help bees."

5) Share your bee-friendly practices with others! Use #beefriendlier on social media. "The more people are aware, the more we can help bees. Take a photo of your bee-friendly garden and share it on social media with the hashtag #beefriendlier. It could end up on our site!"

Want to learn more? Watch Cascadian Farms A Bee Friendlier Flower Bombing short documentary.

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