Sunday, August 15, 2010

Produce too beautiful to eat...

As I scrolled down through the list of posts over the past few months I realized that I was missing something. Too much honey and flowers, and not enough produce. Sadly, the only post I did about the produce farm featured the floods we had in early June! So I have to show you all the beautiful bounty of Becky's produce farm here at Honeyrun. Purple carrots? Yes! Purple Carrots. Why not? Heirloom tomatoes also come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
This was my favorite. Just look at the red and orange striations.
My favorite summer snack. My own little version of Brushetta, complete with fresh basil, olive oil, and Italian cheeses melted over top in the oven. Here I used Hillbilly and Amish Paste tomatoes, both of which are heirlooms.
And here is one of Becky's signature crops: Cherry Tomatoes! Sun golds are a farmer's market favorite; known for a burst of flavor that is sprightly sweet. They combine nicely with their more acidic and tart counterparts, the red cherry tomato. There's still time left to pick these up at the next farmer's market!

Honey Robbers

Isaac took the time on Friday to take some video of the bees as they were "robbing" the honey from the beeswax cappings. After we scrape the beeswax cappings off the frames in order to extract the honey, we leave them in the yard for the bees to clean up. They get really excited, and start "robbing" the honey in a frenzy of excitement. We think you'll get the picture when you watch this video...

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 2010 Honey Extraction

It's honey harvest time! I thought I would show you what honey extraction is all about! We are finally working in our new "honey house" with our new 33 frame extractor. It is so much quicker than the old 4-frame hand-crank extractor we used to use. Now we load it up, flip on a switch, and it spins the honey out on its own! But we still have the time-consuming task of scraping the beeswax cappings from each frame. When the bees are finished filling a frame with honey and it is at the perfect moisture level, they "cap it off" with beeswax.Here Isaac is getting ready to scrape off the cappings with a hive tool. The cappings fall into a tank below, where the extra honey drips down into a bucket, and the beeswax will later be cleaned, melted down, and used in projects such as soap, candles, etc.
We slide a warm knife against the frame to remove the beeswax.
Look at all the delicious honey ready to ooze out of the frame... it weighs about 5 pounds. This year's Summer honey has a very light color from the clover and Canadian thistle blooms.
The frame is placed in the extractor, and when it is full we will turn it on so the honey can spin out. We keep it spinning for about 15 minutes.
The honey drips down into a bucket below. This honey includes chunks of beeswax, pollen, and even dead bee parts. We have to put this through a large mesh strainer in order to bottle it, but other than that... there is no processing. Pure, raw, honey... straight from the beehive.
We will have some of this honey for sale this weekend at the North Market. Stop by our booth to sample some of the freshest honey in Central Ohio!