Bom·bus (noun) : a genus of bees comprising the typical bumblebees
THE BOMBUS STORY
Hi! I'm Chris, owner and seed sower at Bombus Botanics. My farming endeavors unfurled out of a deep appreciation for the natural world - its vast beauty, incredible diversity, and increasing fragility - balanced by a recognition of the need to urgently invest in our soil and our communities.
A degree in Environmental Law focused my attention on our flawed agricultural system and its enormously detrimental impact on the health of our ecosystems. While policy change became one of my core motivating concerns, I also witnessed firsthand the power of community to transform our broken systems from the ground up. I soon departed NYC for Denver to slow my pace and dig into this new calling. My soil-centered work began with a handful of wonderful, food justice non-profits. For six seasons, I helped manage urban farms and pay-what-you-can farm stands, worked closely with chefs to get more local food on menus, and grew thousands of pounds of produce for our public school lunch programs.
Flowers naturally made their way into my fields and heart as I worked to create and protect more habitats and food sources for our struggling pollinators. With their kind assistance, I grow over 80 varieties of flowers and foliage for use in herbal medicine recipes and floristry work. 2022 finds me on my own little patch of land in Bozeman, Montana where I am setting up a farm and building a completely new community from scratch. It's both intimidating and exhilarating. No matter the obstacle, I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to do what I love, for all of your support, and for the chance to help to regenerate our Earth, even in my small way.
FARMING & FLORISTRY
As a farmer in the semi-arid high desert of the West, I am constantly thinking about my place within, and impact on, this rapidly changing environment. Adaptability is key--with water conservation, pollinator health, and soil regeneration serving as guiding principles as I continue to evolve my farming practices. Colorado is home to a staggering 946 species of native bees and Montana boasts 450, so I strive to avoid all inputs that could be harmful to them, fellow humans or the larger ecosystems above and below the soil. In the field, I refrain from using any herbicides or pesticides, focusing instead on plant resiliency through proper soil care. Drip irrigation and landscape fabric do their part in helping to conserve water and naturally suppress weeds. Each season brings new knowledge and changes to my soil work!
Within the realm of floral design, I want my blooms to not only delight the senses but to also inspire our community to choose locally grown stems over imported flowers. The massive chemical and carbon footprint of the global floral industry cannot be overstated. More than 80% of all cut flowers in the U.S. are imported from South American farms where labor and chemical usage laws are either lax or non-existent. These toxic preservatives have had devastating health effects on a predominantly female workforce and eventually find their way into our local florists' hands, and finally our homes. In my designs, I steer clear of preservatives, plastic bouquet sleeves, floral foam, and imported or chemically-processed blooms. These fragrant bouquets are safe to handle, smell, and compost at the end of their vase life.