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The Bear & The Bee


Two young farmers growing organic vegetables in the foothills of the Sierras

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The Bear & The Bee


Two young farmers growing organic vegetables in the foothills of the Sierras

The Bear & The Bee is a two-person vegetable farm located in Placerville, California.  We grow over fifty varieties of certified organic fruits and vegetables, which we sell in our on-site farm stand, as well as through local grocers and restaurants. We work hard to grow the most nutritionally-dense produce possible, while utilizing the most environmentally-friendly practices possible.

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THE FARM


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THE FARM


Our farm is located on ten acres of flat-ish land in hilly Gold Country, surrounded by hundreds of acres of native wildlife. We were fortunate to find vegetable land in the foothills, amongst the rolling mountain landscape. The property itself has a rich history of agriculture. It started as a vineyard in the 1800s, briefly transitioned to a legendary Japanese tea and silk operation, and ultimately became a dairy farm. In 2010, the property was purchased by the  American River Conservancy, a land preservation non-profit, which has conserved 25,000 acres of land throughout the Gold Country region. The ARC has embraced organic agriculture as a means of preserving this historic piece of land, by providing access to farmland for us, as well as for our neighbors, Free Hand Farm, a family-owned, pasture-raised livestock operation. This farm land has passed through many hands throughout the years and we're proud to play a part in this property's history. 

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THE FARMERS


Hello there.

We're pleased to feed you.

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THE FARMERS


Hello there.

We're pleased to feed you.

The Bear & The Bee is a two-person farm, owned and operated by Will Nelson and Erica Gassmann. We are two young farmers doing our best to have a positive impact on our world. We met as farm interns in 2013 and we've been farming side-by-side ever since.

Will began his farming career during college at San Francisco State University, where he earned his degree in Environmental Studies through the lens of Sustainability and Food Justice. He worked with the Ecology Center of San Francisco, but ultimately decided to leave the city to pursue his interest in growing food. He attended Green String Institute, where he met Erica, and the partnership was born.

Erica's farming bug didn't bite until later in life. After trying her hand at many different career paths, she realized a normal 9-5 just wasn't for her. She started volunteering on farms in 2011 and worked her way up the farm ladder, until reaching the farmer's ultimate dream of starting their own farm business. 

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THE FIELDS


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THE FIELDS


Farming is a delicate balance of preserving the natural life systems of soil and plants, while simultaneously shaping nature to produce healthy foods for people. We nurture our soil's basic processes, in order to produce the best possible outcome - delicious, nutritious vegetables.

Before our soil can feed us, we have to feed it. Using naturally-sourced fertilizers, such as composts and manures, as well as mineral-rich rock dusts and nutrient-heavy fish emulsions, we provide our soil with a well-balanced diet, so that it will produce well-balanced veggies. After all, vegetables are only as good as the soil they grew in.

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THE APIARY


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THE APIARY


The Bear & The Bee is made possible by two farmers - with the help of a few thousand honeybees. They work along side us in the fields - pollinating our crops and making it possible for us to grow food for our community. 

During peak summer, our bees may have an over-abundance of honey. We monitor their food supply and if they have extra to spare, we share in their sweet wealth. The honey they produce is full of all different types of pollen found in our fields and around the farm, as well as native foothill flowers. They travel up to five miles to forage food for the colony, which means they're collecting a diverse mix of pollens from our region.