As the earth around us succumbs to the brisk months ahead, we too settle into the slowing beath of circadian rhythm. The family trio at Settler Hives has cultivated a rich love for gardening that has bloomed from a simple, hollistic mission: to feed the bees.
The Masons have curated an Autumn Seed Set that takes the guesswork out of timing, packing a scrumptious batch of greens, herbs and flowers ready for planting. “Starting Settler, we feel we have an opportunity to create a brand that can satisfyingly offer others a solution and complement the lifestyle we want of flexibility,” explains Hayley Mason. Hayley and husband Roger are young entrepreneurs whose partnership parallels a witting combination of both nature and nurture. Inseparable since the age of 12, the high school sweethearts had long dreamed of working together, but always sought to include a “feel-good factor”.
The couple fell in love with beekeeping whilst in Canada living on a blueberry field. They were deeply affected once awakened to a phenomenon known as ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ (CCD). “This really impacted us learning about how important bees are to our ecosystem and our passion grew just learning so much more about them,” explains Roger. After two and a half years the couple returned to Toowoomba and slowly cultivated a colony of their own, starting with their first-born daughter Scarlett. Today, Settler is the manifestation of the couple’s earth conscious mindset. “We know we’re relatable, because we’re not experienced gardeners ourselves. We’ve just since learned a lot about great quality seed and produce to make sure we’re giving the best possible product to a generation keen to give it a go,” expresses Hayley.
With roots in Australia but expanding internationally, Settler Hives seeds are available in 120 stores across Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States. “What we love the most is trial and error and that even avid gardeners are still working it out. It just feels good to be outside and so satisfying to know you made that dormant seed come to life,” says Hayley. Working hard to keep up with a recent spike in demand, the family has used Roger’s new full-time position in Settler as an opportunity to thrive together. “We wake up altogether, have breakfast, a bit of yoga/stretching (we’re giving priority to taking care of our bodies for strength and stamina), and then our work day begins,” explains Hayley.
Unabashedly down to earth, the couple has realised their fusion of apiculture and gardening as a means to both nourish and flourish, shrouded in an altruistic mindset to be the change they wish to see. “Go breathe that beautiful air outside and enjoy the sunshine together, plant your feet on the earth and get your hands dirty,” encourages Roger. “Enjoy the ultimate satisfaction of growing something beautiful that really does change the world, feeds the bees and ultimately your own tribe.”
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