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The Happy Homesteader

Meet Allan and Lorna… neighbours, friends, family, community members, homesteaders and local business owners. You may recognize them as the happy couple from downtown’s very own Happy Homesteader.

Homesteading refers to a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, otherwise known as ‘getting back to basics.’ Features include subsistence agriculture, fence building, food pickling and preservation, home brewing, sausage making, bread baking and, of course, beekeeping.

Allan is one of Mission’s resident beekeepers, also known as a honey farmer or an apiarist. On their Ferndale property, they currently have 8 hives in their apiary. Lorna, on the other hand, is all about the food and developed a love for creating it at a very young age. She was taught the basics of cooking and baking, and over the years, often engaged her friends in the primitive art of canning, making cheese or baking bread.

“When I first moved to Mission, I wanted to buy Lorna’s,” she recalls with a smile. “The name was perfect, but we wanted a joint venture and spent a lot of time looking for the perfect location.”

Many will remember that Lorna’s was the small diner on Main Street, the location Bee Thai now occupies. Being a business owner in the downtown core has not always been smooth sailing and there have been challenges over the past two years.

“In today’s day and age, society is so busy,” Lorna explains. “It breaks my heart to see fully roasted chickens ready to buy in the stores. You can even buy pre-hard boiled and peeled eggs now. Everyone is so focused on convenience.”

For most of us in today’s world, the time and effort involved in ‘do it yourself’ and ‘starting from scratch’ isn’t remotely realistic, but we can all agree that this may be a wake up call to society to slow down. Both Lorna and Allan are adamant about educating our community on the importance of consuming local honey.

A little research in to the benefits of local, raw honey and one discovers the numerous healing properties. Local honey cannot only alleviate seasonal allergies and reduce the lifespan of colds, but it is also a natural antiseptic and can assist with taming the stomach flu.

In addition to the honey, Allan and Lorna also have available pollen, propolis and royal jelly. Pollen is beneficial for asthma and respiratory difficulties and can assist with avoiding illness, boosting immunity and killing bacteria. Propolis seems to have activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Royal jelly is reserved for the Queen Bee and supports a healthy immune system.

They are currently taking online orders, doing home delivery and are even considering the option of uploading some homesteading tutorials.

Advice to the community?

“When life resumes to normal, it’s a good idea to be mindful of what you have on stock,” Lorna encourages. “Don’t always depend on imports and convenience. Learn how to bake bread. Make sure you know how to make things from scratch.”

Mission, that’s good advice.

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