The distillery sits on the 1,200-acre Swanson Family Farm in northwestern Minnesota and distills grains grown on the farm for its rye and bourbon whiskies.
To become certified as a Bee Friendly Farm, a farm must demonstrate that it provides:
- Good pollinator nutrition on at least three percent of its land
- Different flowering plants throughout the growing season
- Nesting habitat like shrubs and hedges
- A clean water source
- Reduces or eliminates the use of chemicals
As a fourth-generation farmer, Far North Spirits co-founder and head distiller Michael Swanson believes in taking care of the land through responsible stewardship, focusing on farming practices that promote soil health and ecological diversity.
“This certification means we are walking the talk,” said Swanson. “We are being good stewards of the land and protecting it for generations to come.”
The pollinator connection to liquor may not be immediately evident, but Swanson breaks it down like this: “Bees and other pollinators are vital components of a healthy ecosystem, which results in healthy soil. Healthy soil is essential to the production of quality grains. And quality grains are indispensable in making great whiskey.”
This common sense approach has been handed down for generations by small farmers, but protecting pollinators is even more important today as they are a precious resource that are in increasing jeopardy.
“We are very excited to certify and partner with Far North Spirits as the first Bee Friendly Farming distillery,” said Miles Dakin, Bee Friendly Farming Coordinator with Pollinator Partnership. “Far North Spirits is a fantastic example of sustainable farming, maintaining dozens of acres of pollinator habitat and implementing pollinator best management practices. We are proud to support their efforts.”
Pollinator Partnership has certified 129,000 acres as Bee Friendly Farming since 2020, the equivalent of 200 miles or the distance between Minneapolis and Madison, Wisconsin.
The Swanson Farm, a fourth-generation family farm where Far North sits, has returned over 50 acres to natural prairie grasses through a federal conservation program designed to incentivize farmers to remove land from production and plant species that will be environmentally beneficial. These native grasslands help to prevent soil erosion and provide an ideal habitat for pollinators and other local fauna.
WHAT: POLLINATOR WEEK CELEBRATION
- Official opening of Far North’s Pollinator Patio
- Limited release Limoncello sweetened with locally made honey
- Cocktail specials
- Who’s Your Whiskey Farmer/Bee Friendly Farming T-shirts
WHEN: Saturday, June 25, 2022
5 – 9 p.m.
WHERE: Far North Spirits, 2045 220th Ave, Hallock, MN