When I was a kid my dad had a small beekeeping business with his best friend on the side. They would put out beehive boxes for farmers in orchards and then collect the honey. I have vivid memories of him looking heroic in his beekeeper mask as he smoked out the bees and gave us honey to eat right off the honeycomb. There’s nothing like chewing fresh honeycomb. That’s what came to mind when Jennifer Garner talked about getting her kids involved in harvesting honey on her estate. She also farms small crops like blueberries, and raises chickens. So she’s surely creating memories for her kids. Well and Good has an interview with Garner in which she discusses her family traditions, revolving around farming, beekeeping and eating whole foods. She’s promoting her company Once Upon a Farm, which offers organic baby food. As we heard in her talk with Vanity Fair, Garner’s mother was raised on a farm and her mother’s stories of living off the land had a huge influence on her growing up. She has some nice stories here.
When life gets *busy,* are there certain moments or rituals you make sure you do with your kids every day?
There are lots of little traditions the kids and I have together. Right now our blueberry bushes are going nuts, so we sneak down and pick blueberries together on the weekends. But my most valuable time with the kids is bedtime—I have different books going with each of my kids and they each get their own time [with me], even if it has to be condensed!
I love that you like to garden and farm with your kids. How did this come about?
My mom grew up on a little farm in Oklahoma with cows, chickens, fresh veggies—you name it. Everything they ate, other than sugar and flour, they grew and raised. When I was a little girl, my mother always told me and my siblings fantastic, vivid tales of growing up on the farm during the summertime, when they would eat like kings, with fresh produce by the bunches and routine delicacies like homemade ice cream.
It’s that same enchanted love for homemade and fresh that defines how my family lives at home today. We have bee hives in our yard, my kids have their bee suits and like to get involved with it all—it’s so fun, it’s like a living science experiment. In our garden, we grow tons of fruits and vegetables and we’re so lucky to live where we live, because we can grow almost anything—we can’t stop planting new things!
Why is healthy eating so important for you and your family?
I was lucky to grow up eating garden-grown, fresh, homemade nutritious food with a mom who prepared our meals on a daily basis. I was well educated on how important of a role clean eating plays in our daily lives. It’s key for us to know exactly what we are putting into our bodies in order to feel good and alive with energy. This was my mom’s lifestyle, which she instilled in me and my sisters, and it’s what I want for my kids—and really, all kids, at the end of the day. That’s why I’m so passionate about Once Upon a Farm.
My dad and his brother were just telling us how they used to make fresh ice cream churned on the porch as kids and now I want to try that. Good for Garner for farming and getting her children involved. Her time is flexible and it sounds like she’s a real go-getter when it comes to keeping busy and productive. That isn’t shade! I can relate to that.
RadarOnline has a related story about Ben Affleck, Garner’s soon-to-be ex (hopefully). They report that he did buy that mansion down the block from Garner and their kids (apparently that was in progress the last time we reported on it). He’s moved his mom in temporarily to help him transition to the new house. That’s really sweet, I bet his mom is a big help and that she appreciates being so close to her grandkids.
Photos credit: Backgrid, Instagram/Jennifer Garner, WENN
OMG, what is wrong with me?! The title made me think they were wearing Bee Costumes, like Bumble Bee Halloween costumes LOL
This made me actually laugh. That’s amazing.
Me too, don’t worry XD
Like “Magic Schoolbus”
I THOUGHT THE SAME THING, I clicked thinking “lol wut”
It’s stories like these that only further highlight how mismatched Jen and Ben truly were IMO. Jen has always been family-oriented and Ben has always been self-oriented. That never works out well in the long run for the partner who is family- oriented
I really am starting to like her now that she is on her own, she seems a little more true to her goofy dorky self.
And I agree, the more she reveals about herself the more obvious it is that her and Ben really grew into differenet people – or he just never grew up.
She is very wholesome, very straight edge. He is raging addict. How they lasted as long as they did amazes me.
She worked really hard to stay in a marriage with a person who was not cut out for it. Her background is from parents with a lasting marriage. She was already divorced once when she married Ben. She put a lot of work into it. At least she has great kids. Money etc. she will be fine.
I agree – and eventually I think both will be happier apart, especially her. It had to be frustrating.
I hope they maintain a good relationship for their kids though, having him down the street and involved should help.
“It’s that same enchanted love for homemade and fresh that defines how my family lives at home today.“
Granted I’m grumpy on a Mon morning, but no one talks like this, right? She needs to make the copywriting less obvious.
Cool bees though.
It’s just….too much.
It’s too much for me in that she is growing her veggies and bees in her MANSION in Southern California with her addict Hollyweird estranged husband spending the night. Hardly a farm in Oklahoma.
The photo styling seems a bit strange – more like a plantation owner than farmers.
My mom also grew up an a very small farm, thought they were not farmers. My grandfather was a totally disabled vet from WW1. My grandmother worked so hard growing vegetables. They had fruit trees, cows and chickens. My grandmother worked hard from sun up to sun down. She canned their food for the winter. They even had a crock filled with eggs for the winter. These were used for baking, not for eating. Her life was very difficult. She made all of their clothes. I would not want my poor grandmother’s life. Our modern world is so much better. My mother refused to can anything because she watched her mother in a hot kitchen providing for her family. They had a pump at the sink. Believe me, this life was hard. So much easier when you are a millionaire who farms.
yeah, it is VERY hard work growing your own food not to mention the canning, drying, storing harvests. My grandmother was a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia during The Depression and had 8 siblings! They all worked their assess off to survive. Little Ms. Garner has lots of staff to do all the back breaking work while she and the kids just play “Farm” when they feel like it.
Yeah. I give her credit here, she seems like a great Mom. But follow farmers on twitter… that’s the reality. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking on the same day at times and true farming is nothing like that Oklahoma pic above. She’s selling her brand tho. Everyone is embracing doing what they love and selling it. She’s always been a bit saccharine. At least with her it’s consistent and fairly genuine.
Good for her, the world desperately needs more bees. Really, really needs more bees. My garden this year is going to be spaghetti sauce. I’ve planted tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, onions, oregano, thyme and sage. My yard is very small, so this year I turned the front yard into a fruit garden. I’ve got new blueberry bushes which I’m excited about, and I put in another strawberry bed. I’d love a peach or cherry tree, but the landlord keeps saying no. Everywhere I’ve lived I’ve tried to plant fruit for the birds and flowers for the bees. It’s my little way of making the world a better place.
My garden last year got decimated by deer. Which – is fine, really. I love having the deer around even if they’re dragging ticks in with them. But the little buggers took one bite out of every cucumber and tomato haha. If they’d just finished what they started I’d have been less annoyed. I think I’m going to get a couple of pots started on the deck where they can’t grab them as easily. Just for some green onion and maybe tomato.
We have a TON of flowering shrubs and perennials too – I plan on tossing some extra plants in that are big bee draws. We have a giant Quince bush that has to be about 10ft+ at this point that desperately needs to be pruned. It’s right in front of our window and it’s just starting to bloom. So I’m waiting for the fall to prune it so the bees/butterflies/hummingbirds get their fill first. But it’s SO pretty- bright reddish pink flowers.
Lol! I have a rotten little chipmunk who picks my cherry tomatoes, takes one bite and leaves the rest scattered on the patio. He does this multiple times! You would think he would remember he hates them, but nope! Much like you and the deer, I don’t mind. He is cute and entertaining to me.
I’ve never seen a quince bush so I googled it. They were a beautiful red, and the article said they turn maroon in fall. Yours must be gorgeous at 10 feet. Your deer remind me of the starlings around here. Every cherry has a hole in it. They take one bite and move on to the next cherry. It gets frustrating. The orchards around here fire off gas cannons 3-4 times a day to chase the flocks away. The noise takes some getting used to.
She’s whatever the wealthy white woman version of FUBU is.
I like her and would love to have playdates with our kids. I get that she is over the top to a lot of people but I appreciate how much she truly seems to enjoy motherhood.
It’s easier to enjoy motherhood when you have a lot of help. In that respect I need to emulate (even without the money and help 🙂
We keep bees with our neighbors! We all started about five years ago. We got so into it that we bought a little extractor together. Props for Jennifer doing the “crush and strain” method in the video. That looks like lovely honey!!
It seems like more of her personality comes through now. We have learned more about her, rather than just Ben Affleck’s wife and mother of their children.
Ben is very lucky to have her to coparent their children! I think he knows it since he bought a house relatively close to Jen’s. ( He could have bought a house even a hr. away!)