CWU News

Bees Creating a Buzz as The Farm Begins Second Growing Season

The Wildcat Neighborhood Farm is off and growing again. And this spring, there’s even more of a buzz.

A colony of honeybees has been flying around the five-acre patch of farmland on the north end of the CWU campus for the past couple of months, adding a new dimension to The Farm during its second growing season.

“We’re really happy to have the bees because now, our crops have pollinators on site,” said Kate Doughty, CWU’s farm and sustainability manager. “They also provide a good opportunity for people to learn. It’s been fun to see this very important species in action.”

With any luck, the bees will soon be producing honey, but that side benefit will have to wait at least a few months.

“We don’t know how much honey the bees will produce in the first year, but it’s definitely a positive for us,” Doughty said. 

Also new this year at The Farm are three 30-foot by 72-foot high tunnels. Two are being used to produce vegetables and herbs, while the third has been reserved as a seed starter. A second 10,000-square-foot field also was added this year, providing additional capacity for row crops. Carrots, winter squash, beets, and a variety of salad greens are currently growing in 50 100-foot rows. Some of the produce — including arugula, spinach, and mixed salad greens — will be available later this month. There’s even a pumpkin patch.

“With the high tunnels and the second field, we will definitely be able to produce more volume this year,” Doughty said, adding that potatoes and tomatoes have also been added to the mix. 

The Farm is a long-term venture that serves more than just one purpose. In addition to providing food to Dining Services and community members, the sustainability center and outdoor classroom supports education, community health, and environmental stewardship by examining the social and ecological implications of the food system. 

Campus chefs, environmental science faculty, and community gardeners also have embraced The Farm’s mission.

“It’s been fun to build something new that the whole community can get behind,” Doughty said.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,