Bob Liptrot shows how honey is made at last year’s Honey Bee Awareness Day.

Tugwell achieves green status for initiatives

Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery have always been "green"

Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery received top certification from the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification (VIGBC) on March 24.

According to Jill Doucette, a founder of VIGBC, the green standards are high.

“To develop a set of specific green certification standards we studied international best practices from established programs in San Francisco, Portland and others around the world,” Doucette writes. “The development of the VIGBC certification criteria was a collaborative process working closely with industry experts, academics, local governments, and members of the business community.”

The tasting room at Tugwell Creek will be receiving Green Level Certification (the highest level) for their initiatives to reduce waste, water consumption and energy usage.

Owners, Bob Liptrot and Dana LeComte are passionate about improving the local environment and go above and beyond to ensure a healthy ecosystem on their property.

“Sustainability at Tugwell Creek Farm and Meadery is fully integrated into the operations, our product and how we do business,” commented Dana LeComte. “This certification gives our customers an understanding of what we do behind the counter to be an environmentally-friendly company.”

Their certification criteria is built to offer a “simple and effective guide for making significant environmental improvements to small and medium sized businesses on Vancouver Island.”

Business at the meadery, located along West Coast Road, has always been environmental.

“We started with composting and recycling.  (We) moved to better insulation and power smart appliances and lights,” remarked LeComte. “Slowly we evolved to consider the environmental impact of every decision. Going forward we want to take advantage of solar hot water incentives through the CRD (Capital Regional District). The harder part for many is buying organic and recycled items as they are pricier but so worth it!”

Their philosophy, as posted on their website (tugwellcreekfarm.com) is straight forward. “Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery was born from a passion for bees.  Bees are the central focus of our business.  Without their success, we would not have honey.   Without honey there is no mead.”

Everyone can contribute to both being green and saving the bees said LeComte.

“Don’t spray pesticides in your garden,” advises LeComte. “Look for organic treatments and advocate for them wherever you buy garden supplies.  If you must spray, never spray anything in bloom.  Learn to love dandelions, they are an important source of nectar and pollen to bees and other pollinators.”

Our North American version of a pristine lawn is like a barren desert for your average honey-making bee, comments LeComte. “Leave a wild space for pollinators somewhere on your property, even behind a shed is fine.  Grow lots of pollinator friendly flowering plants that bloom at different times of the year.”

Made from local honey and berries all from within 20 kilometres of the farm, the award-winning mead from Tugwell is both sustainable and delicious. Co-owner Bob Liptrot has been keeping bees for over 43 years and making mead for over 25.

To learn more about bees, take advantage of Tugwell Creek’s Honeybee Awareness Day, on May 25 from 12-5 p.m.

Organizations aspiring for Vancouver Island Green Business Certification, or if you’re just curious, can contact info@vigbc.ca today to get started. The process for certification is online at: http://www.vigbc.ca/get-certified.php

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