My name is Anna, and I'm the primary beekeeper at Purple Valley Farm! I was in graduate school and living in an apartment with a strict “no beehive” policy when I first went to beekeeping school in 2008. Although I loved going to see an apiary, learning about the bees, and meeting other beekeepers, I didn’t live in a place where I could have a hive of my own.
It wasn’t until I moved to a small rental on a 90-acre farm with my husband, Trey, that I went to beekeeping school a second time and finally started my first hive. The next year I expanded to two hives!
Trey and I purchased our first home in 2017 after two years of learning about the bees and harvesting delicious honey. We moved the two beehives with us to our new mini-farm, where the bees can roam a five-acre heirloom fruit orchard filled with apples, pears, peaches, and cherries. In 2018 the apiary expanded to four hives, nestled along the fence line of a large horse farm and our expansive fruit orchard.
Our family also expanded in late 2018, to include a future beekeeper, Diana. She loves to watch the bees buzz around the hives, to eat apples and pears fresh from the trees, and to see the horses happily eat the apples she offers them.
We always wanted a small homestead, and when the time came to select a name, we didn’t hesitate. Purple Valley Farm is a nod to our alma mater, Williams College, where Trey and I met 19 years ago on the track and field team. Williams is situated in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, in an area known as the Purple Valley because the mountains appear purple as the sun sets. The foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, which can be seen from our back deck, also take on a purple hue at dusk. When we first saw that view, we knew this would be our home, so it’s fitting that the name of our homestead conjures up wonderful memories of our past.