On-Farm Research


The entomologist comes to the farm
To capture and record the diversity of bees
In our fields.

He is trying to find out how many
And what kind of bees
Are still here.
How bad is this die-off, the reported
Widespread hive collapse?

We have a lot of bees here, he tells me,
Such as the wool carder bee.
The ones that came from England
That collect hairs from plants,
Use them to line their egg cells.
Harvest "wool" to cushion
And insulate their young.

We will shear our sheep in September.
I hope to knit my baby a blanket
Using their carded and spun wool.
I will wrap it around her
Luminous, thin skin in winter.

Our flock grazes beyond the herbs
And vegetables and sweeping motion
Of his sword-like net. I watch as the bees,
The scientist, the plants and sheep
Do their work. Separate
And also glaringly interwoven.


Jessica Gigot

Jessica Gigot is a poet, farmer, teacher, and musician. Her small farm in Bow, Washington, Harmony Fields, makes artisan sheep cheese and grows organic herbs. Jessica has lived in the Skagit Valley for over ten years and is deeply connected to the artistic and agricultural communities that coexist in this region. Her first book of poems, Flood Patterns, was published by Antrim House Books in 2015, and her writing has been published in several regional and national journals, including Floating Bridge Press Review, Pilgrimage, About Place Journal, and Poetry Northwest. See more at www.jessicagigot.com and www.harmonyfields.com.