National Honey Month – Urban Beekeeping
Urban Farmer occupies the historic Meier & Frank building in downtown Portland. Perched on the top floor is our sister restaurant, Departure, as well as our rooftop garden. This garden is home to our very own urban beehive.
Bees occupy an essential role in our food chain. In fact, bees contribute nearly 20 billion dollars to U.S. crop production. Without bees, we would suffer a major food crisis, since 90% of our crops rely on their pollination. Likewise, our garden relies on our bees for pollination. In exchange for providing our bees with a hive and plants to pollinate, they provide us with fresh honey.
Our rooftop honey finds its way into many of our dishes. It is an essential part of our rolling cheese cart. As our incredible team of fromagers — French for cheesemonger — will tell you, the delicate, floral flavors of our locally-sourced honey are the perfect accompaniment to both soft and hard cheeses. A drizzle is added to the vinaigrette on our classic Local Greens salad. Our Pastry chefs love including it in house-made honey bonbons. When you visit Urban Farmer, be sure to ask about which dishes of the day use our honey!
Most importantly, by cultivating a beehive on our premises, we are trying to do our part to keep the population of pollinators in our area healthy. In recent years, the number of honeybees in the United States has decreased drastically. This is largely due to a loss in biodiversity, natural habitats, and an increase in the use of insecticides, which often effect wild pollinators. Not everyone can start a beehive in their backyard, but you can do your part in helping the bees by buying seasonal produce from local farmers and supporting local beekeepers in your community.