Farming couple Jennifer and Keith Duarte are the proud owners of Damn Good Honey Farm, our March Featured Growers. Founded in 2015, Damn Good Honey Farm’s mission is to increase the number of people working with bees and awareness of the challenges they face today. Read on to learn more about Keith and Jennifer’s farming journey and the exciting projects they have planned this year!
What is the approximate size & location of your farm?
We have most of our hives in Kerhonkson, but will be expanding to several new locations this season. We also lease a farm in Wawarsing with a field of approximately 3 acres where we grow vegetables using organic and sustainable practices.
Are you a first generation farmer/new to the area, or do you come from a line of family farmers?
We are both first generation farmers. We have lived in Kerhonkson since 2007.
How did you come up with your farm name?
We wanted a name that would stand out, something that would get people talking.
Why bees? Was there a watershed moment or a gradual process to focus on beekeeping as a profession?
We have always wanted to get into agriculture in some aspect, it was something we wanted our son to grow up around. The idea to focus our business on beekeeping was born in part out of the frustration we found when we started beekeeping but also the opportunity to help new beekeepers as they begin their journey. When we began beekeeping, there weren’t a lot of resources to help the new beekeeper locally. We wanted to be there for anyone who wanted to add honeybees to their backyard or small farm.
Has anything really surprised you about beekeeping / honey product producing or your specific type of farming?
Honestly, it has been the support we have received from the community. We have met so many wonderful people who are so positive and supportive of the small farms in the Rondout Valley.
Is there anything you would like to promote coming up in 2017?
We have some very exciting things planned for 2017. Among them, we will be putting a hive at WDST Radio Woodstock and regularly talking honeybees on the radio when we are there to inspect the hive. We are also exploring options to add a roadside market on route 209 to offer our products and others grown or produced in the Rondout Valley. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for updates throughout the Spring!