The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Free Beekeeping Equipment

No Bees: No CropsHave you chatted with your extension agent lately?  I think that extension agents are one of the biggest untapped resources for back-to-the-landers and homesteaders.  The extension agent is your one stop source for free soil tests, bug identification, farming advice, and much more.

In our area, we just found out that "much more" includes $400 of free beekeeping equipment!  If you live in southwest Virginia (and I understand there are similar programs in many other parts of the U.S.), you can get reimbursed for spending up to $400 on hives, bees, and other equipment --- the grant estimates it's enough to get you started with two hives.  We had been scrounging around, getting used boxes and scrimping to buy one package of bees for this year, but if both of our applications are accepted, we're now thinking we might be able to get four free, brand new hives going this year!

Lest you be scared by the word "application", let me add that it consisted of putting our contact information on a sheet of paper and signing it.  So, check your phone book or the online listings and give your extension agent a holler!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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What is it about the Agribuisness Subcomittee of the Virginia Tobacco Commission which causes my concern?
Comment by Errol Tue Mar 24 10:41:14 2009
What, you don't like agribusinesses? :-) (The Tobacco Commission gives away a lot of money around here as part of the transition away from tobacco growing, funded, I think, by a cigarette lawsuit.)
Comment by anna Tue Mar 24 13:08:40 2009

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