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    Let It Bee

    A big-city family trades life in an upscale Harlem brownstone for a nearly 200-year-old fixer-up farmhouse in Upstate New York—it sounds almost like a movie script I might be sent to consider. But it’s actually been everyday reality for almost the last decade for my husband, Brett, and me and our two daughters.


    After years living in (and appreciating) New York City, in 2013 we decided to take a leap of faith and pursue our dream of creating a different kind of life as a family. It’s been lots of hard work, but we have seen Lomar Farms—named after our girls, Lola and Marley—become a place of peace and renewal not only for us but also for friends and visitors.


    We host gatherings and yoga sessions on the property. We also offer a range of Lomar Farms products, from candles and honey to seasonings and more, which we sell online and through 40-some stores across the country. We were recently honored with a New York State Senate Empire Award recognizing businesses that support their local community.


    Becoming beekeepers (we have around half a million of them in 10 hives) has been an adventure. We have come to appreciate the important part bees play in our food chain and ecosystem, and the health benefits of what they produce. They also have many life lessons to offer, about working hard and about the importance of community.


    We have always been a close-knit family, but working together on developing our property has brought us even closer. And along the way, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and what it takes to bring a vision into being.

    Here’s what we would tell anyone who wants to pursue their dream:
    Own the process. You don’t need to pay someone to do it all for you—get your hands dirty. We have been hands-on, from building a chicken coop to learning how to keep bees.
    Take small bites. Things don’t happen overnight. Accepting that it will take some
    time to get where you want to be will keep you from getting frustrated or disappointed. Do a little bit at a time.
    Learn the lessons. It won’t all go smoothly, but that’s OK. Hitting obstacles doesn’t mean that you have made a mistake, just that you need to make some adjustments to what you had in mind.
    Leave some room. It’s good to have a plan and to work hard, but give some space in it all for something extra, something outside you and more than you know or can imagine—the magic, you might say—to happen.
    Enjoy the journey. Don’t be so focused on where you are going that you forget to pause and enjoy the progress you have made. Even bees take a break in the winter and enjoy their honey. Celebrate the small victories.
    Refine the vision. As you draw nearer to your end goal and it comes into clearer focus , you may find it looks a little different from what you saw from a distance. Welcome that as clarity rather than correction. Above all, don’t miss out on all the rewards of stepping out and taking a risk. There’s so much to enjoy and experience.

    Yvonna Kopacz-Wright is an actress (Blue Bloods; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), beekeeper, entrepreneur and certified yoga instructor. She and her husband, Brett, co-publisher of Uptown magazine, own Lomar Farms (www.lomarfarms.com) in Palisades, New York.

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