Bees Knees Farm
Local family farm focused on natural animal management methods and quality products
When We Farm, You Farm
You may or may not know it, but much of King William county was pine lumber country for over 100 years - pine trees were grown, cut down, and sent down the river to the paper mill. Rinse, repeat.
But prior to that, the land that we now farm on was managed very carefully by the Mattaponi Native American people, whose reservation is less than 2 miles from the farm. We envision that it was an old-growth silvopasture (scattered mature trees with grass underneath), just as the colonists from Jamestown described upon landing there. 400 years ago, when this part of Virginia was first explored by the settlers, Andrew White wrote that the Native Americans managed the land with fire and other means such that the land was "laid out by hand in a manner so open, that you might freely drive a four horse chariot in the midst of the trees"
Our mission is to regenerate our small portion of the land back to what it was. We want to do this without using petroleum-based fertilizers or chemical inputs. We let the animals graze, trample, and poop to increase the organic matter, normalize the bacterial and micronutrient levels, and turn the soil back to its original richness and diversity.
By rebuilding the soil, we sequester carbon. We also help manage the waterways. The ravine that defines our land runs to Bull Swamp, which goes to Custis Millpond and very quickly into the Mattaponi, which becomes the York River and out to the Chesapeake Bay. The amount of soil runoff, even with the excessive rains we've seen the past few years, is dramatically lower on our farm than even 3 years ago. Land that has good soil and sequestered organic material (carbon) holds water.
We chose to raise chickens, pigs, goats, turkeys, and a few horses because they are appropriate for this particular job and this particular land. The hilly terrain that we have isn't great for cows, and so we don't raise them.
As a partner with us, you help sequester carbon, rebuild land to its original productivity, and protect waterways with every bite you eat. Meat products from the animals that help make this happen are an ethical, green choice. We couldn't do it without you - so thank you!
Sarah and Dennis Williams
Bees Knees Farm