-Posted by Isaac
While Jayne was churnin' butter, slaving at the Saturday markets and watching kids, I went on vacation.
Man, I love this job.
The excuse was to run a race. Many of you know my sister Becky from Dangling Carrot Farm. Last Friday we took off for the deep south, and by Saturday afternoon we were walking Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.
|C'mon, Becky, we've got a race to run!|
Although Becky had some difficulty looking past the liquor and male strippers, I turned my more refined tastes to finding something special. Something southern. (No, not Southern Comfort)
After much searching, I found it: tupelo honey
I used to sing it to Maizy at bedtime until she decided she didn't like it. "I'm not an angel!"
Van Morrison did southern beekeepers a favor by making it known to the general public, but among most beekeepers the honey was already famous. It's got a delicate, unique taste and is only produced in the swamps of northern Florida and Louisiana, making it really hard to find.
We searched the city over and finally came across some rare tupelo honey here:
This was a fun place. New Orleans' French Market is a little like our own Columbus North Market, but here, prices were set a bit too high in my opinion.
I like to get my money's worth when running. I chose the full marathon. Becky, more intelligently, opted for the half.
An interesting running note: If you paid much attention to the Olympics last summer, you may have heard the name, Mo Farah. He's from the U.K. and won gold medals in both the 5000 and 10,0000 meters. Pretty incredible. Well, he showed up in New Orleans. That's him in the black-- on his way to a course record half marathon win.
|Mo Farah - 1:00:59 - Course Record|
My less rushed pace enabled me to occasionally get a whiff of the flowers.
Here's a field of clover in full bloom on Feb 24! No wonder some beekeepers go through the hassle and headache of moving their bees south for the winter.
On any trip, and especially down south, you're of course obligated to sample the local menu. Our pre-race meals consisted of sausage jambalaya, shrimp gumbo and a catfish Po Boy at a little place just off Bourbon St.
After the race we left town to find some fresh authentic seafood.
|All fresh at Kenny Seafood|
I got talking to one guy, a crab fisherman, and he was feeling pretty down about the catch this winter. He was unloading crates of crab amounting to what he thought was around $450 worth. "That doesn't sound too bad," I said.
"Well, considering it costs $500 to run the boat and bait the traps, I'll call that pretty bad."
Fishing and beekeeping... they bear a fair resemblance, I thought to myself.
Here they are. The nectar source behind the wonderful rare honey.
|Tupelo gum trees|
Surprisingly taller then I had imagined, they were just beginning to bud. The bark looked much like our northern white ash. They'll bloom in April and the honey will be coming off the hives in May and June.
We saw many things-- alligators, birds, snakes, jumping fish and marshmallow eating "wild" pigs...
But I continued to irritate our guide with a barrage of tupelo questions.
"It ain't the trees that make the honey, son, it's the bees..."
|My sister- an American Queen|