Communal Beat

Honey Grove – Cottage, Homestead and Apiary

A Lifestyle Dream

Honey Grove is our long-time dream come true. In the fall of 2011, we left our city jobs and our little green house in East Vancouver, to follow our hearts into the country. Our standard city lot could no longer contain all of our gardens and beehives and inspirations, and we simply needed a bigger canvas to splash our inspiration about.

Most of the people in our lives thought us completely mad. We were, after all, giving up our “good jobs” and our comfortable lives to pursue a wild idea, but they loved us, so they cheered us on, and off we went. In some ways we were naive, but we were also fueled by inspiration and an ever-present dedication to live a more sustainable life. This and the fact that we had watched over 50 episodes of River Cottage (an inspiring British television series following a London chef into the countryside of Dorset, to create a sustainable farm and small holding.

Honey Grove Cottage

We also recognized that the best decisions we have made thus far in our lives, have not necessarily been supported by the masses. For those decisions propelled by the heart, do not always lend themselves easily to the rational mind, and therefore, are not always understood by the greater community.

An Act of Co-Creation

Honey Grove - Nao and Mark SimsDuring our first year spent on the farm, we believed that we were creating the place called Honey Grove. In our minds we were bringing our long-time-dream into reality. Now, nearly 3 years later, we are beginning to realize that Honey Grove is in fact creating us, and that the life that we live on this 6-acre plot of land is shaping who we are, in more ways than we ever knew possible.

Honey Grove has revealed our strengths and weaknesses. It has shown us the source of over-flowing happiness and deep down satisfaction. It has taught us patience and surrender and problem-solving in ways that have surprised us. The truth is, we have never worked harder in our lives, and hard work has never been more rewarding.

Rewarding Work

Our first year here we worked from dawn to dusk, digging earth and moving stones, putting in fences and bringing in soil. We made composts and hatched chickens, we built beehives and caught swarms. We turned the little 800 sq. foot cottage on the property into a holiday home for travelers and holiday-makers, who were interested in staying in the countryside and sampling a simple life. We built websites and greenhouses and a deer fences, and we drank many-a-cup of strong sweet black tea.

I cannot articulate the satisfaction that rises up in ones being when an overgrown field becomes a 2000 square foot garden that can feed us for 9 months of every year. Or the first taste of the summer’s honey harvest, that brings with it, the realization that the sweetness on your tongue, was gathered by bees, who were visiting the flowers growing upon the land on which you live. Reaching under a warm and feathery chicken in the morning to collect an egg for breakfast is delight and an awe every single time. Going into the cellar on Christmas Eve to bring up your own potatoes for Christmas dinner is a marvel and one that is worthy of celebration with every bite.

Fulfillment in the Comox Valley

I am not sure that anyone could have prepared us for the fulfillment that Honey Grove would bring us, for the joy, or the satisfaction, or the humbling, or the learning, that is to say, the full-spectrum of experience that any heart-felt endeavor offers. What I do know for sure though, is that we would never go back to our “good jobs” in the city, for we have fallen totally in love with our Honey Grove and the beautiful Comox Valley.

Honey Grove Apiary - Comox Valley

And so, if a trip into the country inspires you, we welcome you. We invite you to come and stay and make yourself at home in our cozy little guest cottage. Rest,retreat and be restored by the simple life. Watch bees gather nectar from the garden flowers as you sip your coffee on the porch in the mornings. Enjoy a breakfast of farm fresh eggs and Mark’s freshly baked bread with homemade jam. Speaking of bread, very soon Mark’s Wood fire oven will be up and running, and we will be selling artisanal sourdough bread in our farm-shop. You can also join us for an apiary tour or a honey tasting, come and meet the bees and learn about the marvelous creatures they are. We delight in meeting new people, and it brings us great joy to be able to offer Honey Grove as a sanctuary to those who feel called to the country life.

For more information about Honey Grove visit our website at honeygrove.ca

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