SFFC Snail of Approval: Karma Acres Farm

This farm and apiary is located near the 10,000 acre Four Creeks State Forrest and it provides the soil and sunlight to support local honey production and organically grown produce and herbs. Owners Lisa Broward and Lee Hughes are helping to make things sweet at some of the Jacksonville area restaurants, and Dennis Decker the farms manager is providing local purveyors with fresh organic produce.

Dennis has revived and maintains some very interesting growing methods. He has built Hugel Hoops (a German mounding technique) -key hole shaped mounds that improve access. They each contain a fruit tree that provides partial shade to the plantings below. In addition, he is also using trench like pits which are filled with tree branches, logs, and organic materials and then covered with soil and mulch to provide a well-drained and deeply watered home for intensely planted mixed varieties of plants which mimics nature in diversity. Rounding out the sustainable methods are conventional raised beds filled with vegetables and herbs. All are treated to enrichment with the composted manure and mulch from the surrounding woods. Blueberries, pears and olives, and additional agriculture contribute to the success of their honey production.

Lisa is the beekeeper, starting with one hive and expanding each year. She harvests honey twice a year and also moves some of the hives to local pesticide free locations according to what is in bloom. Extraction is now done on site with the addition of a new “honey house” and production has tripled. Filtration and bottling is completed here. Lisa is a member of the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association, an officer for the Nassau County Beekeeping Club, manages multiple community apiaries and is an Advanced Beekeeper in the Master Beekeeping Program through UF. Their honey is available at many local restaurants and for purchase at locations and local events throughout the community.

Contact: Lisa Broward at browardl@comcast.net

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