Messner Family Farm Bee Cosmetics

I had the pleasure of meeting Rachael Messner during my latest adventure at the March 2016 First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District. She and her husband Erik started Messner Family Farm almost six years ago. Among the many amazing products they sell are their bee cosmetics.

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

As Rachael put it, she’s the artist and Erik is the muscle. She comes from a background in marketing and consulting, that she left to pursue her dreams of creating a more sustainable lifestyle with Erik and their son. Erik is an engineer and the main beekeeper on Messner Family Farm. They became interested in gardening in 2008. Once the garden expanded they started to incorporate more crafts and hobbies centering around their beliefs in good stewardship, hard work, and sustainable living.

Messner Family Farm

How They Became Beekeepers

Erik has severe allergies and wanted to use local honey as a treatment. The idea that local honey can prevent allergies is based on a concept called immunotherapy. Pollen is one of the most common allergens and of course it is found in honey. By eating increasingly larger amounts of pollen filled honey a person will become less sensitive to it. The result is a naturally developed immunity to pollen.

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

Meanwhile, on their honeymoon, Rachael read a book about homesteading that inspired her to keep bees. They asked Erik’s grandparents for a hive for Christmas in 2012 and the rest is history! Of the five hives they now have, four were funded completely by Messner Family Farm campaigns on Kickstarter.

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

The apothecary goods Erik and Rachael make include lip balm, mustache wax, insect repellent, and solid perfumes. All of the Messner Family Farm beeswax products are all natural, and most of the ingredients are organic. They use their own beeswax and beeswax from other Kansas City beekeepers. Since their bees are located in the city they aren’t certified organic. However Erik and Rachael don’t treat them with any chemicals and the bees are kept naturally.

More Messner Family Farm Awesomeness

Messner Family Farm also produces ceramics, soaps, and more. As if all that bee greatness wasn’t enough! For the ceramics, Erik makes the pottery and Rachael molds jewelry, soap dishes and other small items. Rachael says the earrings are her favorite items to make. Each pair is a one-of-a-kind expression of her creativity. The soap dishes are designed especially for their bars of soap.

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

Speaking of soap… Erik and Rachael make lard based soap using locally sourced lard from animals and beeswax from their bees. To make the soap they use the old-fashioned cold process method.The recipe is simple and natural. Rachael says Messner Family Farm soap bars lather well and last a long time because of the oils they choose and the ratio of lard.

Where To Buy Messner Family Farm Products

The Messner Family Farm online shop features all of their latest products. When you visit the website also check out the library section for cool information on homesteading, gardening, keeping chickens, and of course beekeeping.

Messner Family Farm. Credit: Kiara Watts

Their products can be found at multiple local shops across Kansas City. Click HERE for a list. You’ll also be able to purchase items at several upcoming events in Kansas City. Look for Messner Family Farm at Crafts and Drafts on March 26, To Tanzania, With Love, KC on April 1 and 2nd, Eat Local & Organic Expo on April 2, and Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair on April 30 and May 1. They also have a pop-up shop every First Friday in Archival Designs, located at 2014 Main Street.

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Kansas City Folk Festival 2016

Last weekend the Westin Crown Center was transformed into a knee-slapping, song-belting, square-dancing, guitar-strumming music festival. To be exact, Folk Alliance International presented the annual Kansas City Folk Festival. If you happened to be there you got a giant serving of folk music from Kansas City and around the world.

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

Folk Alliance International (formerly the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance) is the non-profit organization based locally that sponsors the Kansas City Folk Festival. Folk Alliance International has a mission to nurture, engage, and empower the international folk music community. Amateur and professional artists alike have access to education, advocacy, and performances.

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

Since moving the conference in 2014, the Kansas City Folk Festival has been an industry focal point for folk music and dance in Kansas City. As the largest folk music conference in North America, members include record companies, publishers, music support services, and artists that work in the industry.

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts
Andara the Band

During Friday night’s Folk Festival events Lily and I found ourselves at Crown Center searching for a suitable place for dinner. Actually we were looking for anything Lily wouldn’t balk at the idea of eating. Panera? No. Spin Pizza? No. (What?!? Lily, you love Spin Pizza!) Three Little Pigs? No. She finally decided on Fritz’s. Once our bellies were full we continued our wandering around.

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

I remembered the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium was featuring laser light shows set to Beatles’ music. At just $6 per ticket that was going to be our plan. We walked towards The Link to Union Station but stopped at the stairway leading down to the Brasserie. From there we spent the rest of the evening following our ears.

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More Photos from Kansas City Folk Festival 2016

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts
Bill Banks with his rare Mando Bass

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts
Tom James

Kansas City Folk Festival 2016. Credit: Kiara Watts

Black History Month 2016. A N M L T R X P album cover art

A N M L T R X P

A N M L T R X P, Royce ‘Sauce Remix’ Handy’s newest album, is an anthology of songs inspired by the issue of racially based mass incarceration in America. Through trap style hip hop music, Sauce Remix aims to educate his listeners about societal traps that young black men and women need to avoid in life.

Something happens to a person between the ages of 25 and 30. They start to open their eyes to the world around them. Looking beyond their everyday life, they began to ask questions like What is going on around me? How does what’s in the daily news headlines affect me? What can I do for my part in the impact of the world? The result of Royce Handy asking these questions is A N M L T R X P. A listening voyage through his latest album will also ignite your own journey to find out ‘What’s Going On’. (Cue Marvin Gaye.)

B X R S – Sauce Remix featuring Lox

People who are truly passionate about Kansas City have quickly learned that, although it is a great city, there is a dark side to it. The focus needs to be on more than the candy coated side of what’s good here. In order to get people to really bring about lasting change the dark underbelly has to be exposed.

Jessikha N. Williams Photography
Jessikha N. Photography

Sauce Remix is a Kansas City based rap artist, social activist, writer, and student of Urban & Community studies. Sauce Remix is involved with many charitable organizations, volunteer programs, and local outreach in Kansas City. The Arts of Urban Impact Fund was created in conjunction with his previous album, Gunshots. The Arts of Urban Impact Fund collects donations to aid low-income families with burial expenses. More community services include provision of necessity care bags, hands on support, and educational materials for financial literacy.

A N M L T R X P is set for release in February, correlating with Black History Month. It will be available though all major digital retailers, including iTunes, and locally at 7th Heaven and The Wax Factory.

Listen to Sauce Remix discuss the controversial design of the A N M L T R X P album cover art.