Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Buy local this Christmas!

Looking for some great local gifts this Holiday Season? Come check out the North Market Holiday Open House, Saturday 8-5 and Sunday 12-5. I will be there selling our pure honey, herbal infused honey, soap, lip balm, lotion sticks, homegrown herbal teas and spice mixes, beeswax candles, and handcrafted gourds. There are a lot of other great events going on including music and free samples from merchants. Come find me in the upper level of the market, with all the other great artisans.

Scheduled Holiday Open House Activities include:
Saturday, December 5
* 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., North Market merchants and Craft Extravaganza vendors open
* 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Christmas tree sales on the farmers' market plaza with Seibel Trees and Rhoads Farm Market
* 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., holiday music by Willie Phoenix
* 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., roasted chestnuts and pretzels sold in the farmers' market plaza
* 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., holiday music by Suite Strings
* 1 - 3 p.m., holiday music by Miss Molly
* 1 - 3 p.m., Joyunspeakable, the living statue as the Nutcracker Toy Soldier
* 3 - 5 p.m., holiday music by the Eileen Howard Jazz Trio

For more info visit:

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Honeyrun Farm CSA being offered in 2010

Honeyrun Farm is now offering a CSA! For those of you who aren't familiar with the term CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Participants are able to buy a share of the produce from the farm for an annual fee, and in exchange receive a weekly bag of fresh seasonal produce. This way, the consumer is able to share in the bounty of harvest, while also weathering the seasonal fluctuations of availability with the farmer. After receiving numerous requests to start a CSA, Becky has decided to offer this to the first 20 participants in 2010. Here is a quick outline of the program:
*Program runs June 12- October 23 (20 weeks)
*Pick up available at Pearl, Clintonville, and Worthington markets
*Cost for 20 weeks is $400, paid by February 1, 2010

Here are some examples of the vegetables that will be offered through the CSA:
Heirloom tomatoes
Bell, Specialty, and Hot Peppers
Fingerling Potatoes
Fresh Herbs
Winter & Summer Squash
Candy Onions
Root Vegetables - Carrots, Beets, Turnips, Radishes
Husk Cherries
Brussel Sprouts
Braising Greens
Asian Greens

Questions about the CSA? Email Becky Barnes at

Here's a picture from a 2008 Spring market... Mason was just 4 months old here! Time has flown by. It has been a fun and exciting journey.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A long overdue post from Honeyrun Farm!
So I took a few months off after having a baby on August 4th, but I think that is a reasonable excuse, right? Markets are tapering off and the fall weather is upon us. But there is still one month left of great produce, and the honey is always in season. Becky will be at her regular markets through the end of October, and Isaac will be selling honey at the North Market for one more week, with honey and soap available at the farmstand throughout the year.

Here is an update on what Becky has to offer from her fall harvest, as well as storage crops. Greens... greens... greens! Did you know one of her customers actually refers to her as the "lettuce angel"? Pictured below is bronze arrow heirloom lettuce. This is available in a mix with black seeded simpson, red deer tongue, and the beautiful bright red ruffled "lolla rossa" (my personal favorite). I was so excited when I finally got to eat my first BLT with a homegrown tomato and homegrown lettuce. Next year we will have to raise some pigs to complete the local meal.
And this is another favorite at the markets; Arugula. It adds a nice spicy component to any salad, on top of pizza, in a stew, or with your favorite pasta dish.
Other greens that are growing at Honeyrun Farm include Tatsoi and Mizuna, which are asian greens that are great in salad, stir-fry, and soup. Swiss chard and Red Russian Kale round out the greens selection. Other crops available are brussel sprouts, beets, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes (as big as your head), pie pumpkins, scorzonera (get to the market early for this... it's going quickly!), and parsnips. For those of you that have never visited the farm, pictured below you can see the layout of the crops, taken from the top of a grain bin in early July. If you would like to visit the farm in person, just send us an email and we can arrange a visit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finally it has rained on Honeyrun Farm!  We have had a pretty dry summer, and luckily on Saturday we finally received about 2 inches.  We've been so busy we haven't had much time to publish to the blog.  Here is Becky's field... showing the sweet potatoes, onions, hot peppers, and basil and eggplant under the blanket of white floating row cover, which keeps the bugs out, but lets light and rain in.  The sweet corn has also begun to mature, along with a handful of red tomatoes.  We need some of that traditional hot July weather to help them turn bright red!  Becky has recently joined a new market in Dublin on Wednesdays from 4:00-8:00.  Today she will be selling some delicious Ambrosia sweet corn, along with an assortment of purple and green bell peppers, zucchini, onions, carrots... she has such a wide assortment she can hardly find room for everything on the table!  
Gretel from Sunny Meadows Flower Farm came to help make soap last week, and toured the farm with Becky to talk about new ideas and the progress of the crops.   The lack of rain has made the Sunflowers shorter than normal, but they are still blooming beautifully!
On another note, Isaac has started to prepare the ground for the building of our new 'honey house.'  This will be a new location for us to extract and bottle honey, as well as make soap and other honey products.  We have been planning this for quite some time, and it is hard to believe that we are actually beginning to break ground.
A Columbus photographer, Catherine Murray, visited the farm this week to take some photos.  Here is a beautiful shot she took of a frame of honeybees, including the queen near the bottom edge of the picture.  It is often hard to find the queen, so we were really glad she was able to shoot this photo!  Notice the queen's enlarged abdomen, as compared to the rest of the bees.  This allows her to lay the 1,000-1,500 eggs she produces each day during this time of year.
And finally... our son Mason as he enjoys the Spring Black Locust Honey.  It is such a light, delicate flavor... our family's favorite of all the honey we produce.  We are currently selling it at the North Market on Saturdays, but plan to keep one bucket reserved for our customers at the Lithopolis Honeyfest, which will be on Sept. 12th.  Hopefully Mason can restrain himself from eating too much of it before the festival.
photo credit:  Courtney Hergesheimer

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Apple Tree Swarm

The bees are still swarming!  Here is a video of a swarm that landed in our apple tree yesterday.  I was out in the garden, picking the Calendula flowers that we use to make our soap, when I heard a lot of buzzing in the air.  Sure enough.... thousands of bees were abuzz in the air... just starting to land on the tree branch.  You can hear the buzzing in the video if you listen closely.  

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Baby Goats are here!

The baby goats have finally arrived! Our goat Gilly had two baby boys 2 weeks ago. They are doing great, and love running around, chasing each other. Our goat Honey is still pregnant, but we think she might go into labor today. It is a great time to come to visit the farm to see the babies, the bees, and Becky's produce as it is really beginning to take off. This past weekend she had beautiful greens for sale at Worthington and Clintonville... Arugula, Tatsoi, Red Choi, and a varietal Lettuce Mix. This coming weekend we will be back at the North Market as well. Hope to see you at a market this week!

Here is a short clip of the baby goats as they are hanging out on their "playground." Their names are Oscar (black) and Oliver (brown).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Planting and Swarm Season

Swarm season is upon us!  We have caught 6 swarms so far this year, and hope for many more.  Here is a picture of one of our hives as it is getting ready to swarm.  Usually when a hive is ready to swarm they will cluster on the front of their box, and soon you will start to notice hundreds... maybe thousands of bees buzzing through the air in an excited frenzy.  This hive came to us last year as a swarm... they had made their home in this duck box.  Since it was late in the season, we decided not to transfer them to a new hive, but to let them stay in the duck box, which Isaac fixed up on this tree next to our shop.  Obviously they are a bit crowded in such small quarters, and are throwing out a swarm to try to make room for themselves.

The sweet corn has been planted!  Justin, Adam, and Wesley Barnes helped get everything set up, and Justin did the planting.  It is a great help that we have family so willing to loan equipment, time, and expertise on big jobs such as this.  

From working in the greenhouse, to keeping the plants healthy and watered, selling plants on the weekends, trying to get seeds and transplants into the ground as the weather allows... I can't believe we're almost half way through May!  Below is a picture from our Greenhouse Open House a few weeks ago.  

Becky has been very busy planting, although the weather has not always been cooperative.  Here is a picture of her carharts and shoes after she planted onions in the rain.  Upon first glance I couldn't really tell that those were her shoes, but under the layer of muck, they really are there.

Fellow friend and farmer Kristen Baughman came to help plant potatoes, asparagus, and berries.  Here is a picture of her driving the tractor, while Becky prepares the potato planter.  Adam from Wayward Seed Farm loaned us this implement, which was extremely helpful and made planting potatoes so much quicker.  It was really fun to watch.  Becky fed the potatoes into the hopper while Kristen drove.  Now the only overwhelming thought is digging the potatoes when they are ready!  I'm sure they make a machine for that, but not sure if we know anyone who wants to loan it out.  

If you are headed out in the Columbus area this weekend, come check out our markets!  I will be selling honey, beeswax candles, plants, flowers, and more at the first ever Eco Chic Craftacular, located at the Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville on Saturday and Sunday.  Becky will be up in Worthington for the farmer's market, and she has some beautiful Easter Egg radishes, French Breakfast Radishes, and possibly some Arugula (maybe for those first few lucky customers).  We hope to see you there!  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Upcoming Markets: Where to Find Us this Spring

We have a very busy Spring market schedule!  This is where you can find us and our plants, honey, soaps, spring greens, etc over the next 5 weeks:

Saturday, April 25: Worthington Winter Market, 10-1, Griswold Sr.Center 
Saturday, May 2:  Clintonville Sprout Market, The North Market
Sunday, May 3:  Powell Street Fair (9-5), Greenhouse Open House on our farm (12-dusk)
Saturday, May 9: Plant Fest (Worthington Historic District 9-4), The North Market
Saturday, May 16:  Columbus Craftacular 10-6 (3923 N. High, Whetstone Comm.Center), Clintonville Urban Farmer's Market (1934 N.4th St), Worthington Farmer's Market
Sunday, May 17:  Columbus Craftacular 12-5 ( 
Tuesday, May 19:  Pearl Market, downtown Columbus 

We hope to see you at one of these markets!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Springtime at Honeyrun Farm

Well, it's definitely springtime in Ohio!  Rain.. rain... and more rain... with a few beautiful days in between.  Becky has planted a lot of root vegetables, lettuce, greens, and peas, and I have gotten some potatoes and onions in the ground.  It is exciting to see the freshly tilled soil (weed free at the moment), and to think of the possibilities to come.  Blackberries, raspberries, black raspberries, and asparagus will be planted within the next week (weather permitting).  Although we won't be able to harvest any of those until next year, it gives us a lot to look forward to.

Our 13 month old Mason has been keeping busy, helping out in the greenhouse and wandering into the nearby wheat field while I work on seeding and transplanting.  His favorite chore is filling pots with soil, although he is not the most efficient worker as he prefers to do this one fistful at a time.  In the greenhouse, we have onion transplants that are ready to be put out in the field... as soon as it gets dry enough to plant.  This year we be selling a wide variety of potted plants from the greenhouse: heirloom tomatoes, culinary and medicinal herbs, perennials, annual bedding plants, hanging baskets, mixed herb planters, and even some "living" wreaths.  We will be posting market dates and locations for April and May soon, and you are always welcome to stop by the farm and check out what is growing!
I decided to include a picture of the bees, so they would not feel left out.  We heard them out buzzing when the Willow trees were putting out pollen.  It is an amazing sound to walk out of the house and hear thousands of honeybees going to work, gathering tiny little grains of pollen to carry back to the hive.. trip after trip... all day long.  We all could learn a little about work ethic from watching the bees.  
On another note, we have some new Golden Buff chickens that are amazing layers!  We are getting about 18 eggs a day, and have plenty to sell at the farmstand to our friends and neighbors.  We will be getting 15 Plymouth Rock chickens at the beginning of the summer, and will be selling the eggs at the North Market on Saturdays.  Here is a picture of the chicken coop that Isaac built last fall.  He used the windows from his Grandmother Barnes' old brick house that was destroyed in a fire years back.  I don't know of any other chickens who have it this nice... what a view.
Our goats, Gilly and Honey are both pregnant and due in about 2 months.  Honey, who has always looked pregnant, appears that she may be having twins or triplets.  Gilly, who tries her best to compete with Honey for food, is actually putting on some weight and developing an udder.  We cannot wait for the baby goats to arrive... I believe they are the cutest farm animal around.  Here is a picture of Gilly from last fall.  She's always looking for someone to pick on.  
Bottom Three Photo credits:  Kenneth Lilly

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Soapmaking 101

Well, here is it:  a post about how we make our handcrafted cold-processed soap.  We get so many questions about how our soap is made I thought it would be fun to take pictures during the process and write a little tutorial on how soap is made - the old-fashioned way.  Yesterday I made four batches - Oat and Wheat Bran, Cedarwood and Cornmeal, Raspberry, and Cinnamon Spice.  These pictures primarily show the Oat and Wheat Bran Soap.
First I weigh out the oils using a digital scale.  We use palm oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, castor oil, and olive oil for special recipes.  The oils are mostly solid so we have to melt them on the stovetop.  We add blocks of beeswax during this time, since beeswax helps create a hard, long-lasting bar of soap.  The beeswax is from our own beehives - (how I clean it and get it into these little bars is another post - for another day).
Here is a picture of what the oils and beeswax look like when they are almost completely melted.  At this point we take it off the stove and use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature.  We let it sit and cool until it is about 100 deg. F.  

The next step involves sodium hydroxide (the fancy term for lye).  Real lye is made from wood ash, and this is what was used in the old days.  We buy our sodium hydoxide in pelleted form, and it is caustic so you have to wear rubber gloves and goggles when handling it.  I didn't take any pictures during this step because I couldn't hold the camera and do the step at the same time.  Basically what I did was measure the lye on a digital scale, and then measure the distilled water in a pitcher on the same scale.  It is very important to follow recipes and use a good scale to ensure the soap will come out like you want it to.  Too much lye can create a harsh, abrasive bar of soap.  
I slowly added the lye to the water and stirred (I do this outside - to prevent inhaling the fumes).  This is a picture of the water after I added the lye.  The chemical reaction causes it to heat up very quickly, so we leave it outside to cool.  We also wait until it reaches 100 deg F so we can mix it with the oils.
Once both the oils and the lye/water mixture have reached 100 deg F it is time to mix them together!  This is a picture of what the mixture looks like right after I added the lye.  Now the stirring begins.  When we first started making soap we stirred it all by hand, and it took us HOURS of stirring to get it completed.  Finally, we wised up and bought an electric hand mixer, which saves us tons of time and makes beautifully blended soap.
Here I am mixing with the blender.  I am blending until the soap reaches "trace" which is when it gets to a pudding/custard consistency and you can see a trace of soap on the top of the mixture when you stir it.  At "trace" we can begin adding the fun ingredients - exfoliants, essential oils, and honey.  
Here I am adding honey to the soap.  Honey is great for it's anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties, and also adds a hint of sweetness to the scent.  Luckily as beekeepers we have honey in abundant supply.
Here is a picture of the exfoliants I am adding to the Oat and Wheat Bran soap - all pre-measured with the scale.  Pictured here are Oat Bran, Wheat Bran, and Whole Oats that I have turned into a fine powder with my food processor.
Here I am adding the exfoliants.
The next step is to pour it into the molds, which I have lined with parchment paper.  I am lucky enough to have a husband handy enough to make all of our wooden molds and soap cutters.  They work great!  This is the final step for the evening.  After the soap has been poured, I put another sheet of parchment paper on top, cover it with the wooden lid, and let it sit and harden overnight.  Twenty-four hours later I can take it out of the mold and cut it into bars.
This is what the block of Oat and Wheat Bran looks like the next day.  That is one big bar of soap!  We cut these blocks into two long slabs (pictured below) using a soap cutter made from a guitar string.  
Next we cut these slabs into individual bars using another soap cutter that Becky made (also with a guitar string).  Pictured below are individual bars of soap as they are curing.  They must sit and harden for four weeks to ensure that the bars have completely saponified.  This means that all the lye has combined with the oils to create soap - no more active lye is present in a fully cured bar.

Aren't they beautiful?  The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating scents.  Have any ideas of scents or exfoliants you would like to try?  Post a comment or send us an email!  We would love to hear your ideas.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Winter Greenhouse Lettuce

The Lettuce is growing!  It seems the warmer weather the past few days has helped the lettuce put on a few more inches... although it still seems painfully small compared to the beautiful Spring greens we grow around here.  We have not been heating our greenhouse this winter, but nevertheless the lettuce continues to survive.  We will be selling it this weekend at the Worthington Winter Market, which we attend every other Saturday (2nd and 4th Saturdays Jan-April).  You can find us there between 10:00-1:00, at the Griswold Senior Center at 777 N. High Street in Worthington.  We also will be selling our Pure, Raw Honey (extracted last summer) and our handcrafted soaps. 

We will be firing up the heat in the greenhouse next week so that we can start our herbs, bedding plants, onion sets, and a few other odds and ends, so hopefully this lettuce will take off.  We can't wait till Spring!

A Bit about Honey Extraction

Next, the frames are taken from the hive and the top layer of wax is scraped off using a fine comb or a heated knife.  This allows the honey to come out of the capped off comb when it gets spun inside the extractor.
The final step is to place the frames upright into the extractor, and Isaac spins a crank on the top of the machine, allowing the centripetal force to sling the honey out of the comb.  As the honey hits the sides of the machine it will drip down and flow out of the spout, into a large basin.  We use a wide mesh screen to filter out the beeswax, propolis, and dead bees.  What is left is pure, raw honey... straight into the bottle... direct from flower to you! 
Photo Credits:  Courtney Hergesheimer, Columbus Dispatch

Reflections from Beekeeping in 2008

Looking back on this past year of beekeeping, it seemed to be a successful year!  We had a wonderful Spring bloom with the Black Locust trees providing abundant nectar for the delicate light honey we always anticipate.  We aren't always able to extract Spring honey, so we considered ourselves very fortunate to have enough to "steal" from the bees.  The dry mid-summer allowed the bees to gather enough clover and Canadian thistle to keep them happy and well-fed, and to fill up many of the comb honey boxes that many of our customers anxiously await.  Sadly, we did not get to extract honey in the fall, as the bees did not make enough for us to take the Goldenrod honey away from them.  However, we hope that leaving it for them to eat will allow them to survive this harsh winter!