Bees4life Garden Vietnam
A permaculture herb farm in the center of Dalat
Active from March 2020 to April 2021 – Closed in May 2021
Bees4life loves permaculture and regenerative farming. We strongly believe that regenerative farming is the future and solution to many of our today’s problems, including the issue with the massive, ongoing insect and bee extinction. Read more about the causes of bee extinction here.
In general, so far, Bees4life has been a research journey for both the founders Leonie and Jessika. We went from studying the problem of bee extinction to pointing out possible solutions. With Bees4life on Tour we visited and documented different agricultural and social projects around the world that teach us that change is possible and happening.
Now, we figured, it’s our turn to put the solutions into practice. We want to thrive to become an example for others.
Welcome to Bees4life Garden Vietnam and Bees4life Garden Germany.
Bees4life Garden Vietnam is a 1.000 sqm permaculture farm with a camping and barbecue area.
The core of our farming activities is our herbal and aromatic plants.
We are happily growing the most important herbs for European cuisine: Italian basil, thyme, parsley, sage, oregano, rosemary, and also lavender, and the eye-catching edible nasturtium flower.
Currently, we are also taking care of about 100 catimor robusta coffee trees, so you can even taste our homegrown coffee. Tuan, our friend, and permaculture mentor from Bui Farm processed and roasted it for us. You can read more about his permaculture coffee farming in this article.
Moreover, we have about 20 fruit trees, mostly pomegranate, banana, and papaya, and are creating a little coffee and fruit food forest.
How we are bee-friendly
The first goal of our farming activities was to make the place a “gas station” for bees. A place that bees could safely enjoy to have clean and delicious food – flower nectar and pollen. So we always grow vegetables and food for humans together with flowering plants. Flowering plants do not necessarily have to please the human eye only. Sometimes – like in our coffee tree garden – those are simply weed plants.
Moreover, we don’t use substances that could harm bees, such as synthetic herbicides and insecticides.
How we take care of weeds
For us, weeds can have their place in the garden, wherever it has a function. For example, in some places, weeds are necessary to keep the soil in place and protect it from erosion in the rainy season or to provide food for pollinators. However, we don’t like a lot of weeds in our herb plant beds. In these areas, we practice no-dig-gardening methods and keep the soil always covered with thick layers of mulch.
In our case, the mulch is shredded elephant grass which is growing already on the property.
How we enrich our soil and keep food waste out of landfills
Every human-made garden needs fertilizer and so does Bees4life Garden Vietnam. As much as we try to incorporate as many permaculture principles as possible, we are not growing entirely a food forest and therefore require the addition of nutritious soil material – commonly referred to as fertilizer. At the same time, many restaurants and coffeeshops around our corner have steady amounts of food waste. What can be done? It’s simple 🙂
We compost the food scraps of nearby coffeeshops and make nutritious, organic fertilizers on site.
Moreover, we enhance soil life with beneficial bacteria and fungi.