Bumblebee Farm celebrates the fun of farming with unique vegetables 

Amy White, co-owner / operator of Bumblebee Farm.

“The point of growing your own food is to grow things that you can’t get anywhere else,” Bumblebee Farm co-owner-operator Amy White said while showing off her fields of colorful produce. Pink napa cabbage, iridescent green beans, and striped summer squash are just a few of the unique vegetables thriving under the care of White and fellow co-owner / operator Katy Bond.            

Bumblebee Farm is in the Snoqualmie Valley, just outside of the City of Sammamish. In this fertile soil, Bond and White produce enough vegetables for 50 weekly CSA boxes, plus direct-to-restaurant sales, direct-to-foodbank sales, and even sales to distributor Farmstand Local Foods between just the two of them.  

A love for the environment drives Bumblebee Farm, and this impressive amount of production is done with no-till, organic practices and diverse crop varieties.  

Colorful cabbage.

“For me, and Katy as well, we have this love for nature and the environment and how things are connected,” Amy said. “Farming sustainably, taking good care of the planet, and eating local are all very important to us. If you care about the environment, you have to care about food.” 

The inspiration behind Bumblebee Farm was a combination of this passion for the natural world and a passion for sharing its beauty with others, especially through creating a deeper connection with the seasons.

“People want to eat watermelon in June, but that’s not realistic in our climate,” Amy said. “It helps us to all be more connected to the land and the environment to know when the things we love are really in season. There’s so much you can miss living in a city.” 

Katy Bond, co-owner / operator of Bumblebee Farm.

Bumblebee Farm hopes to expand on this mission by hosting workshops on the farm in the next year. Garlic braiding and plant-based dye making are a few of the classes Amy and Katy hope to host, playful topics that fit into the colorful atmosphere of Bumblebee Farm.  

The farmers’ impressive success in the first three years of Bumblebee Farm is made even more so because neither came from a farming background.  

“If I knew farming was an option in my early 20s, I would’ve done it,” Katy said. “But as the kid of a Chinese mother, farming was not in the picture. I had to go to college, become a doctor, lawyer, or nurse.” Bond ended up getting their education at pastry school and working as a professional baker before partnering with White to develop Bumblebee Farm. 

A sample of the variety of produce at Bumblebee Farm.

“Now my mom loves the farm. She gets all her friends to sign up for our CSA,” Katy said. “She’s accepted small business owner on her list of occupations.” 

While Amy’s grandparents farmed in the Midwest, she was actively discouraged from farming and didn’t learn much about it growing up. 

“My family grew corn and soybeans, but they steered me away from it,” she said. “They said that you can’t make a living farming anymore. Sure, on 200 acres of corn and soybeans for animal feed you can’t, but on 200 acres of vegetables, you can.” 

Harvesting pumpkins at Bumblebee Farm.

“People who want to become farmers should be able to become farmers,” Katy said. “We both grew up in suburban areas, and we’re just business partners.  You don’t have to be a family farm. It can be just a business that you love to do. You should be able to start a farm like you start a cupcake shop.” 

“The market for local food is not even close to saturated. We’re not in competition with each other,” Amy added. “You need the community. We were able to ask our neighbors for extra starts when we had an irrigation mishap. Everybody is always helping each other out.” 

One positive difference Katy notices as a farmer is the community. “Farming is so different from other business that I’ve worked in because it’s not competitive. I come from professional baking, where everyone was competing with each other.”  

Bond and White harvesting produce.

The success of Bumblebee Farm highlights the importance of creativity, community, and hard work in building the local food system. However, if you ask Katy and Amy, the amount of joy and passion they have for farming makes all the hard work seem fun.  

“I just love talking about vegetables” Amy said. 

If you would like to follow Bumblebee Farm for updates on future classes and crops, visit bumblebee-farm.com

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