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Save the Honey Bees via Kickstarter!

The Yummy Tummy Farms LLC Kickstarter 2015 project is up and running! Yummy Tummy Farms LLC is passionate about helping honey bees thrive in our urban / suburban environment. We do significant outreach through every medium and opportunity; for example, various Farmers Markets, Holiday Fairs, Facebook, our website and our blog. One of the many subjects that we engage visitors to our table and or booth is about the possibility of hosting honey bee hives in their backyards. The main reason we ask people if they can host honey bee hives is that we get significant calls in the spring and summer months to come and rescue homeless honey bee colonies. Honey bees become homeless as a normal genetic drive to procreate as demonstrated through swarming behavior. The result of swarming behavior frequently is that honey bees take up temporary residence in people’s homes and businesses. Home and business owners are naturally concerned for their family’s and or customer’s respective safety. The best case scenario is that we can calm and reassure them allowing time to go and retrieve the honey bees and put them in a proper hive. Sometimes it is difficult to calm people due to irrational fears around being attacked or stung and the call turns into a race against an exterminator.

In order to save the most honey bees possible, we need to have hives pre-built and homes ready to receive the honey bees. One obstacle we face, due to funding issues, is that we have had to decline to help because of lack of funds to buy hive supplies. Another obstacle we face is the inability to timely extract honey to give us enough inventory to sell with which we could reinvest in equipment and hive supplies. Yummy Tummy Farms LLC does not own its own honey extracting machine and relies on borrowing an old manual extractor that requires significant time and energy resources to utilize.

I, Farmer Donald, am coming to you asking for your help to successfully fund this project. The project goal is to raise $2,500 for several needs some of which I named above. I hope you find my request compelling and take personal action by navigating to our Kickstarter campaign page and fund our project.


Farmer Donald
Yummy Tummy farms LLC

Honey Bee Swarm Capture

In my last post, I wrote about it being the time of year when honeybees swarm. I thought I would add a subject source to my blog posts and that is documenting the work I do in rescuing, capturing, and saving honeybees. Once in a while, you may read about a honey bee swarm that lands somewhere that is not exactly welcome; for example, in someone’s roof eve, hanging off a deck rail, or up in a tree nearby a lot of heavy foot traffic.

I got a call from a concerned customer at the Korean Palace restaurant in San Jose, CA who detailed the plight of a particular swarm of honey bees about twelve feet off the ground that definitely needed rescuing. After securing the restaurant owner’s permission, I packed up my swarm capturing tools and headed on down to the Korean Palace. When I arrived, I met with both the owner and the concerned diner who showed me the location of the swarm. After surveying the situation, I set up my twelve foot ladder and went to work. It took about an hour to capture this hive and attract all the worker bees to the queen bee. I really appreciate the kind telephone call and the cooperation of the restaurant’s owner for helping save the honeybees. I relocated the honeybees to a new home in Almaden Valley where they are thriving, pollinating, and helping maintain a healthy eco-system.


It’s Honeybee Swarming Season!



Honey Bees in my Plum Tree

Honey Bees in my Plum Tree

Why do #honeybees swarm? Because they are honeybees. Honeybees swarm for a number of different reasons, but the overwhelming most reliable reason why honeybees swarm is due to genetics. Genetics make honeybees swarm and it is also one of the primary ways that honeybees expand the population and genetic diversity of colonies in a geographic area. Honeybees can also swarm due to inhospitable living conditions such as, too crowded and not enough space, poor beekeeping skills (i.e. the beekeeper is new or not paying close enough attention), and pest infestation. Even though a swarm of honeybees looks very threatening, it is my experience that while honeybees are swarming, they pose little of no risk to people. Prior to an actual swarm, a pheromone based signal is given off, likely from the Queen, to prepare for swarming which causes many actions to start happening. Some of which are: scout bees go out and find a new suitable home and report back and the nurse bees build a queen-rearing honey-comb cell for a new future queen. Once the queen-rearing honeycomb cell is built, the existing senior queen deposits a fertilized egg inside. About twenty-eight days later a new and future queen bee emerges, soon thereafter, she takes a mating flight and the male bees all chase her, where I have read, a queen bee will mate with as many male bees as she can, sometimes over fifty!

Once the new and future queen returns from her mating flight, the existing senior queen has decided to leave, relinquishing the hive to the new and future queen. The senior queen already has made a crucial decision of where the next home will be and then she takes roughly 50% of the worker honeybees with her and by the tens of thousands, they take flight. Presto! You have a swarm of #honey #bees.

Over the next couple of weeks to two months, I will be out capturing honeybee swarms, where and when possible, I will post pictures of the little darlings wherever they land a give you all an update of honeybee hijinks.

Food Warrior

Sun Lu-t'ang

Sun Lu-t’ang

I, Farmer Donald, am blessed to have the experiences associated with farming the land around my suburban home. I had motivation from many sources, but key sources of inspirations were family lineage, supporting the honey bees, feeding myself and my family healthy food right from the garden. In my personal quest to understand more about where my food comes from, how it was raised, how it interacts with my body, both in the short term and the long term, I have found maintaining clarity is very difficult. Food is personal.

My health is all that I have for without health; everything else in life becomes more and more challenging. I feel that it is imperative to arm myself with the latest information, protect myself and my family from industrial food companies, and defend my community from lies and deceit. It is difficult not to feel embattled from the many foodborne illness headlines, GMO produce, GMO meat, packaging contamination such as BPA in plastics, vitamins and supplements that work one day and the next week they are linked to a malady, and on and on it goes. Speaking as a farmer, I feel a certain energy and zeal when speaking about food, nutrition, and health; therefore, I am going to evolve this blog into discussions around health, diet, food, nutrition, recipes, and how-to guidelines. There are a lot of people doing similar things; however, I hope that I will inspire you, dear readers, to follow this blog, recommend this blog, like my posts, leave a supportive comment, and even visit the farm some day. In becoming a Food Warrior, I hope to enlighten and bring a bit perspective to the wide and diverse subjects around food; moreover, I hope to interact and learn from other bloggers and learn from the fine community of readers too. Lastly, while being a Food Warrior will be an evolving term, it is my goal to fight for enlightenment, peace, and a long healthful life for me, my family, and my community.

Heirloom Tomatoes are Ready!

What’s Ripe at Yummy Tummy Farms for 8/24 and 8/25? Great question and here is a comprehensive list to wet your appetite:

Heirloom Tomatoes: Gardener’s Delight cherry, Black Cherry, Heirloom Beefsteak, Japanese Black Trifele medium-large,  Ghost Cherry, White Tomesol beefsteak, Punta Banda small, Riesenstraube cherry, Indigo Rose- black small tomato absolutely stunning in its beauty, Yellow cherry,  SF Fog small medium, Mr. Stripey large, Great White beefsteak, Striped German beefsteak, Green Doctors super sweet cherry, Green Tomatillos- bring on the salsa, Sungold cherry.

24 oz Striped German- Size, beauty, and delicious flavor!

24 oz Striped German- Size, beauty, and delicious flavor!

Pepper: Numex Anaheim- chile rellenos anybody? Red and green and chocolate bells

Numex Anaheim Pepper- Chile Rellenos anybody?

Numex Anaheim Pepper- Chile Rellenos anybody?

Eggplant: Heirloom Aswad Eggplant from Iraq- big and super meaty!

Aswad Heirloom Eggplant- indigeneous to Iraq. Super meaty & flavorful!

Aswad Heirloom Eggplant- indigenous to Iraq. Super meaty & flavorful!

Basil: Plenty of Italian Genovese- bring on the pesto! Lots of Royal Siam Thai Basil, Pho anyone?

Cucumbers: Marketmore- slicing and fresh eating and Pickling

Marketmore Cucumbers

Marketmore Cucumbers

Kale: Lacinto Dinosaur kale

Squash: Burgess Buttercup

Melon: French exotic Ananas Vert and delightful sweet melon scent

Indigo Rose- Black "Super" Tomato

Indigo Rose- Black “Super” Tomato

Organic Honey

Organic Honey


All of our produce is biodynamically grown in alignment with organic growing standards. Yummy Tummy Farms will be open from 12 noon to 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday 8/24 & 8/25. We hope to see you here.

Beekeeper Rant: Texas You Are Busted!

As a true Northern California beekeeper (San Jose, CA) nothing irritates me more than deception. For example; honey from China that has been diluted and honey from other counties or states labeled as local honey. The label of NORCAL Honey Co honey tells some fluff story about partnering with California beekeepers blah, blah, blah. Newsflash: Hey Texas, California is quite capable of producing our own truly local honey. I’m throwing the B.S. flag:



To be fair, I visited the website of NORCAL Honey Company or Nature Nates, based out of Texas and my critique is still valid. Clearly, Sonoma county, the closest  “local” county to the SF Bay Area where Texas based Nature Nate claims to source their honey from does not meet my definition of local. Otherwise, the map on their website highlights honey sources from unnamed Central Valley counties of California and nebulous unnamed northeast counties of California.

Honey may assist in the alleviation of allergy symptoms. If you live in the SF Bay Area and you suffer from allergy symptoms then you should consider adding local honey to your diet because it contains local pollens gathered by local bees which may help alleviate your allergy symptoms.

I propose 50 miles as a definition for local as the farthest farm products can be sourced from where you live and still maintain the local claim with any amount of credibility.

How effective do you think “local” honey will be for you if you live in San Francisco or San Jose , CA if it is sourced from greater than 50 miles from where you live? If you regularly eat honey that claims to be local, give the label a little bit of scrutiny.

While there is no official definition for local, what is local to you?

What’s Ripe?

Yummy Tummy Farms is the neighborhood’s local suburban farm and we are selling farm fresh produce every weekend 10:00am to 4:00pm. This weekend 6/29 & 6/30, we are featuring four varieties of garlic, French red shallots, arugula, butter head lettuce, organic raw honey, local-made jam, BBQ Sauce, large heirloom tomato plants, exotic eggplants, relish, bread & butter pickles, fruit leather, and farm-grown blue popcorn. Over 30 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes ripening soon; forecasted ripening date is July 28th! FREE vegetable plant with any purchase, just mention Nextdoor. If you have fruit trees that need harvesting, we’ll come by and harvest them and return some of the fruit back to you in the form of delicious fruit jam. Come by 5611 Doorn Lane San Jose, CA near Blossom Hill and Meridian or call 408-320-5365 for more info. Please support your local suburban farm and buy your fresh neighborhood grown produce from us. Prices vary and cash only.

Orange Flower with Honeybee

Orange Flower with Honeybee

Even the Smallest Pollinators are Important

Here is a close up image of a local wild bee that was foraging for pollen of the French Red Shallot flowers that we have growing.  We purposely allowed the French Red Shallots to go to flower to create a habitat for these tiny pollinators. You will have to look very carefully to see these tiny bees.

Local Wild Bee on French Red Shallot Flower

Local Wild Bee on French Red Shallot Flower

My camera is almost touching the bees, so I hope you can see them.

Local Wild Bee on French Red Shallot Flower 2

Local Wild Bee on French Red Shallot Flower 2

In the background, you can see all our delicious farm made goodies for sale: honey, jam, BBQ sauce, and relish.

We hope to see you and your family the farm soon!

Memorial Day Weekend-Heirloom: Tomato, Eggplants, and Pepper Plants For Sale

The heirloom tomato plants are ready! We currently have over twent-five varieties of tomato plants available for sale. All 1 gallon plants are $5 each and 4 inch plants are two for $5. All plants have been raised in accordance with organic and biodynamic growing standards. You will find the complete list of what’s growing on our website and we will be open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm this Saturday 5/25 and Sunday 5/26 unless we sell out sooner. The farm is located at 5611 Doorn Lane in San Jose, CA. Call us at 408-320-5365 or email for more information or with questions. Next weekend, may be the very last weekend for buying your plants from us, so do not delay. See you this weekend!

Solar Flare

Listada de Gandi-Eggplant

Sweet Banana Peppers- Perfect for fresh eating or pickling

Sweet Banana Peppers- Perfect for fresh eating or pickling

We also have plenty of organic local honey available- Yummy!

So good, you will want more!

Delicious Local Honey


Squeeezo: The Incredible Tomato Processing Machine

There were so many great experiences that my family and me had at the National Heirloom Expo that picking one thing to write is very difficult, our new Squeezo grinds its way to prominence.

If you are really into growing sauce tomatoes, no matter the variety, and you have never heard about a Squeezo then you are really in for a treat. I was introduced to the wondrous time saving tool that is the Squeezo from my co-worker and this tool has literally changed my life meaning it gave me time back. We grew a variety of sauce/paste tomato called San Marzano 3, an indeterminate variety, and every plant grew to a very large size meaning between seven and nine feet tall; moreover, they averaged eight feet tall.

We grew eight plants, averaging eight feet in height, most of the San Marzano 3 fruit was quite extraordinarily large meaning one pound averaged out at about eight tomatoes. Each San Marzano 3 plant easily produced over one hundred tomatoes, but if we choose conservatively and stay at one hundred tomatoes per plant then each plant produced over 50 pounds of tomatoes. In summary, eight plants at fifty pounds of tomatoes per plant, means Team Yummy Tummy Farms processed over four hundred pounds of sauce/paste tomatoes!

Now that I have made a “needs” based case for a Squeezo, let me describe the Squeezo to you and a little bit about how it works. Squeezo, as you may be able to determine from the pictures, is essentially a tomato grinder. You feed your freshly picked paste tomatoes into the hopper, turn the crank clockwise while using the provided wooden tomato club to push the tomatoes down, a super strong worm drive bit forces ground tomato skin and seeds down the shaft and out the end into a waiting bowl, while simultaneously filtering through well-made stainless steel screens, your heavenly tomato pulp and juice which gently slides down a tomato slide into another waiting bowl- Genius!

Minor drawbacks: First, it takes practice to successfully attach the stainless steel screen to the base unit so that the worm drive will not scrape against the stainless steel screen or the housing; moreover, it’s not difficult, but it does take some practice. Second, the small tomato seeds and some tomato fiber clogs up the stainless steel screen which requires the use to frequently disassemble and clean the Squeezo.

Here is a little history about the Squeezo:

In summary, Team Yummy Tummy Farms has milled over three hundred pounds of San Marzano 3 tomatoes. The Squeezo will give you back time if you decide to invest in one and I carefully selected the word “invest” because at about $225 for the base model, your purchase will become an investment that yields saved time and an absolutely beautiful tomato product. My co-worker assures me that she knows several people that have inherited their family’s Squeezo from the 1970’s and those older Squeezo’s still function as designed. Furthermore, your Squeezo should, based on other older models, last at least fifteen to twenty years, if it is well taken care of. Lastly, based on my current experience using my new Squeezo, I highly recommend investing in a Squeezo.

Full Disclosure: Yummy Tummy Farms did not and does not expect to receive anything from the manufacturer of Squeezo nor any other retailer; we just really enjoy our Squeezo and wanted to share our experiences.

Squeezo Set Up

Squeezo: Working It!

Just another Day on the Farm

Living a step back in time

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