Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Short Video about Our Farm

This past summer, we welcomed OU film student Gwen Titley to our farm, as she wanted to create a short video about our farm to use for one of her multimedia classes. It helps explain how we got into beekeeping, how we extract our honey, and a little about the seasonal process of keeping bees. Thanks Gwen!

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Cooking with Honey... Pumpkin Pie!

Just in time for Thanksgiving... Honey Pumpkin Pie! I made this recipe last week, and I hope to be able to make it again for Thanksgiving. I just need to get to the store and buy some Snowville Creamery whipping cream, as it wouldn't be complete without fresh local cream as an ingredient, as well as whipped up as a topping (I've developed a dislike of cool whip... how can you stomach it after tasting real whipped cream?). My only advice is to be sure to follow the instructions about covering the edges of the pie crust with strips of foil, since baking it at 400 degrees for 50 minutes will thoroughly burn the edges. Since I prefer graham cracker crusts, I made one for this pie and for some reason thought I could forego this step since it was not the traditional pie crust. WRONG! This is why I did not photograph the pie with the ugly edges. Here is the recipe, reprinted below, in case you are lazy like me and don't follow all the links in blogs. If you want a nice printable version, I recommend checking out the allrecipes site.

Pumpkin Honey Pie


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie


  1. Beat eggs slightly in a large bowl. Blend in pumpkin, milk, cream, honey, spices, salt. Pour filling into pie shell. Cover edges of shell with strips of foil.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking for 15 more minutes. An inserted knife should come out clean when done. Cool, and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grocery Store Honey versus Local Honey

As local beekeepers, we have known for a while the benefits of local honey as compared to honey you see on most grocery store shelves. We try to educate our customers about the benefits of honey with local pollens, which can help build resistance to airborne pollen allergies. The other obvious difference between the two types of honey is the flavor. Until we started beekeeping, I didn't each much honey. This was because I had only really eaten pasteurized honey, and it didn't seem that great. Even the honey you find at many local farm markets will be pasteurized, as smaller honey processors have picked up the practice of pasteurizing and high pressure filtering their honey so that it will stay liquid on the store shelves rather than granulating in time (as seen in the picture above). These packers often sport a label with a local address, so the consumer really has no clue where their honey came from, but only know where the honey was processed.
Over the past two weeks, we have had several customers point out the article: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey, published by Food Safety News, and later picked up by the Associated Press, which details the differences between local, unprocessed honey, and honey that is high pressure filtered, thus removing all the pollen, as well as much of the flavor and nutritional benefits of honey. The article is lengthy, but definitely worth reading. We're not trying to convince you to buy more of our honey... but we do feel it is important to always buy honey directly from a beekeeper that you know and trust.

Cooking with Honey at the Edible Columbus Cooking Class

For the past few weeks we have increased our honey consumption by ten-fold here at the Barnes household. This is pretty impressive, considering we already ate a LOT of honey. Isaac is our chief consumer, as he puts it on everything. But I began to realize that I was not utilizing what a wonderful supply we had on hand, and there really are so many versatile ways to use honey. It is so much more than just a sweet treat.
All of this was spurred on by an invitation to speak at an Edible Columbus cooking class on "Cooking with Local Honey." While I spoke on the benefits, types and varieties of local Ohio honey (shown above, our Spring, Summer, and Fall honey, left to right) I really learned so much more about cooking with honey just by sampling the wide array of offerings chosen by Tricia Wheeler, editor of Edible Columbus magazine. You can follow this link to find all the recipes we sampled in the class, but I am going to post my two favorites here. I cooked them both this past week and received rave reviews from Isaac.

Honey Roasted Root Vegetables

4 pounds root vegetables, like butternut squash, celery root, rutabaga, beets, parsnips, pumpkin and carrots, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch cubs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper and spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet, or two if needed. Rotate the tray halfway through cooking until vegetables are lightly caramelized and fork tender, about 45 minutes. Toss periodically to make sure they cook evenly. While vegetables are cooking, whisk honey and butter together into well incorporated.

During the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, remove vegetables and brush them with honey butter mixture. Sprinkle with rosemary and return to oven to continue cooking.

Honey Marinated Chicken Breasts
Serves 6

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon honey
2 cup fine breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Flatten each chicken breast half with a meat pounder. For the marinade, put the mustard, wine and honey in a large ziplock bag. Add the chicken breasts, seal the bag and marinate in fridge for an hour. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Dip the marinated chicken breasts in the mixture, coating all sides. Place the chicken breasts in a greased baking pan and cook in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Our kids liked it too, but they have yet to master the art of comments like, "This is amazing, mom!" I wanted to take beautiful photos of both dishes. But sometimes after working hard on a meal, you just want to sit down and eat it, you know what I mean? So you have to use your imagination... but trust me. They are both delicious. I've included the above picture of our kids, Maizy (2) and Mason (3) after we made homemade spinach ravioli last week. No honey in that recipe, but it is included in the Fall issue of Edible Columbus, mentioned in the previous post. Go check it out!