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Cary and BeeGirl Harvesting Palace Farms Honey Bees Rogue Creamery's Newest Team Members: Honey Bees and A New Blue Tractor

Not content with helping to resurrect Oregon artisan cheese and bringing American craft cheeses to the European markets, David Gremmels now works to save the bees.

As a child, 4-H taught David sustainable and organic farming techniques and the importance of bees to the environment, but it wasn’t until he and Cary began sourcing milk, working with farms and managing their own that they really understood the larger concerns. “The bees have a far greater reach than our farm and it is vital to increase awareness of bees, and their contribution to the biodiversity of our landscape,” David says.

David and Cary started with one hive out at Palace Farms and now have eleven. “David’s enthralled at how the bees work and the concept of their life cycle and community,” Paula Rissler, David’s Executive Assistant says. “He’s concerned with colony collapse disorder, and the impact that will have on the world’s food supply.” As for David, working with his bees brings him calm moments in the midst of a busy schedule: “I love working with the bees,” he says. “The hours evaporate.”

Paula was on the Rogue Creamery honey team this fall, working with BeeGirl Sarah Red-Laird and one of Rogue Ales’ resident apiarists Ellen Topitzhofer to harvest the bounty of the bees. It was Paula’s first time. “It was wild!” she says, of moving frames heavy with honeycomb, the sweetness attracting swarming bees that coated the truck and filled the air.


“The bees made this year’s honey from Palace Farm’s native wild flowers and organic sunflowers, oregano and buckwheat that Cary planted,” David says. “The honey this year is the most distinctive and rich in color that I have ever experienced.” And the taste, alone or paired with any of Rogue Creamery’s blues is exquisite. Here's one of our favorite uses for our local honey, Rogue River Blue and Honey Bourbon Grilled Figs. Yum!

ANew at the Farm - a New Holland 75hp Tractors you might imagine, there’s lots of work to be done on a farm, and we’re pleased to say that there’s more horsepower available now to share the load. Literally.

Craig Nelson is Rogue Creamery’s Facility Manager, and knows firsthand about moving BIG things, like hay bales, equipment, feed and manure. That’s right, poop. After all, cows eat, give milk and poop. Every day.

As of last week, a New Holland Work Master with a 75 horsepower engine has taken up residence. “It’s a her,” says Craig, “but we don’t have a name yet.” Names, of course, are symbolic for Rogue Creamery, and it will take a little while before the team gets to know her, and finds the name that will match her personality and work habits.

“We’ll use it to move solid product, cut grass, all aspect of farm work. We’d be using a shovel otherwise and a lawn mower and a weed wacker – all by hand,” says Craig. “She does the work of ten people just with one guy running it.” Craig’s got a real sense of humor, saying “solid product”, when we all know what he really means.

posted September 2013