Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey (PacificNorthwestHoney.com) focuses on the beauty and bounties of Washington’s wilderness: raw honey, raw honey products and beeswax products from our Naturally Treated, Antibiotic-Free hives. We produce and create all of our products. I (Karen Edmundson Bean) am the beekeeper. Ian, my husband, helps build hive products and can be found at our the farmers market booths even in the coldest, wettest of weather. He draws upon his skills as a woodworker who specializes in handcrafted furniture of historical designs (View Ian’s Page at Walking-Wild.com).
Our off-grid farm lies beneath cedars, alders, and big leaf maples on ridges cut by flowing creeks in the Mount Baker foothills, near Maple Falls, Washington. We share our lands with a myriad of wildlife from deer and bald eagles to bears and cougars. We have been able to do this with the able assistance of our livestock guard dogs, who create a vocal, but peaceful co-existence with the native animals which live on and roam our lands. This also allows us to be certified Predator Friendly by Keystone Conservation.
The diversity of the wilderness that surrounds us is reflected in our crafts and products. Our honeybees have been flying for over a decade from naturally-treated, antibiotic-free hives at the farm and from near-by bee yards. I tend to the bees and harvest their raw, unheated, unfiltered honey. I also create Brookfield Farm’s herb-infused raw honeys; organic vinegars infused with raw honey; as well as salves and lip balms made from our chemical-free, antibiotic-free wax.
When I’m not working with bees or honey, I can be found with a camera in hand in the back country. My award-winning wilderness DVDs focued on Washington state wilderness trails, with special attention to the Pacific Crest Trail. My wilderness pinhole photography images and “ripping tales”; (hand ripped wilderness photo collages) are shot during her sojourns into Washington’s backcountry. If you find a woman perched on the side of a mountain, pinhole camera in hand, while two or three pack goats wait near-by, that probably is me.
Ian’s the woodworker/craftsman. His specialties are rendezvous chairs and wooden tables which fold to three-inches wide with no metal hinges. His handcrafted furniture is based on historical designs, to which he adds his own special touch, including stains created from strong British tea. Rendezvous chairs were used during the Civil War. The tables are documented in the Napoleonic era. Ian adds his own personal touch to these historic designs, including a wood stain he creates from strong British tea.
He also creates rustic house wares: lazy-susans, candleholders, cutting boards, and clocks. Some are created from milled lumber; others are hand-hewn from the branches of trees downed by the wind. Balsillie believes that life and work should be simple and not require computers or undue mechanization. He uses a circular saw to cut the milled lumber and a drill to make holes. The rest of the work on Balsillie’s furniture and house wares is done by hand. Visitors to Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey’s market booths will often find him working on his furniture.
Brookfield Farm started out as a dream: We wanted a place in the wilderness and happily found the land which is now Brookfield Farm. We focused on natural fiber in our early years at the farm: Shetland & Jacob sheep and Cashmere goats. Then I became tired of shearing, and fell in love with bees around the same time. Beekeeping’s wonderful. It’s science, nature, art, and just plain luck, all rolled into one.