Lisa Broward overcame health hazards and then set her sights on following through with a lifelong dream to buy land and keep bees.
CALLAHAN, Florida -- Lisa Broward knew she would own a farm one day, but “one day” always seemed far away.
Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it suddenly felt as if she was out of time.
“One of my regrets was that I would never get a farm,” she recalls, but thankfully, she was treated and became cancer free.
She knew it was time to make her “one day” farm become a reality.
Finding the perfect land to fit her needs -- at least 5 acres of land suited to her dream of beekeeping, and still close enough to Jacksonville to commute to work and visit her family -- was a daunting challenge.
For months, she and her husband, Lee Hughes, a real estate agent, searched the region. Jacksonville didn’t have what they wanted. They found promising properties in Clay County, but the traffic they would face to get to work was overwhelming. Then they looked in rural Nassau County, where acreage was more plentiful and the drive into the city was more manageable.
Finally, they found it: the perfect property in just the right spot outside of Jacksonville. The couple put in an offer and anxiously waited for a response, but sadly were outbid by another buyer. Lisa was devastated, unsure she would ever get the land she longed for. A friend tried to cheer her up, saying, “Karma has something better is store for you.”
They couldn’t have known it then, but the very next day, they found the listing that would become their home, ironically situated on Karma Lane. How could they not put Karma in their name after that? They moved to the property and named it Karma Acres Farm.
Lisa quickly began keeping bees, fulfilling her lifelong dream of harvesting honey on her own land. She planted her own wildflower garden to nurture the bees, and also enjoyed the benefit of living near naturally-growing gallberry shrubs that bees use to produce some of the South’s most succulent honey.
When Lisa’s bees produced their first batch of honey, she felt she had finally returned to her roots.
“I grew up on a farm, and I guess I took it for granted, knowing where all my food came from. Kids today don’t have a farm down the block,” she said. “So even if it’s a small part, it’s really nice to be a part of producing food for our community.”
Lisa became more and more skilled in beekeeping, eventually becoming a master beekeeper and teacher for other beekeepers in the region. She also was hired to maintain honeybees in the Springfield neighborhood in downtown Jacksonville. And she was awarded a “Snail of Approval” by the Slow Food First Coast group in 2013.
She is even taking on the role of educator at her own home, inviting guests to "glamp" in a vintage camper on her property. Part of the glamping experience at Karma Acres is the option for an education in beekeeping. You can learn more about staying at Karma Acres here.
Over a plate of fresh honey and flaky biscuits in her sun room recently, Lisa said she’s so glad she finally chased after her dream.
“Some things are just meant to be.”
Learn more about Karma Acres Farm on their website, karmaacresfarm.com. If you're looking for land of your own for beekeeping, view available properties from Florida to Texas on our parent company's website, RaydientPlaces.com.