Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lavender in June

-Posted by Isaac

With the heat comes the lavender.
I love to take a few minutes on a hot June afternoon, walk out to the garden and catch some of the action:

Yes I griped about it when Jayne asked me to put some lavender beds in. That was years ago. And yes, I still occasionally gripe about weeding. Jayne by now knows to take the griping with a grain of salt. 
Overall, I have to say planting that lavender was a very good idea... just for the relaxing entertainment and peace of mind it brings.

We originally planted those beds for the beauty of the lavender sprigs. When Honeyrun Farm started, flowers were a part of the business (And we still sometimes get asked for bouquets at market.)
Then we shifted to adding the lavender to the honey.

As many of you know lavender infused honey goes great with certain recipes, tea, coffee... I like it mixed into a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Now, for the steeping of the honey, we buy the dried lavender in bags (USDA rules). It is simply added and mixed into a bucket of honey, steeped for about two weeks and strained out.

These days the lavender in the garden is left alone for the enjoyment of bees, bugs, butterflies and humans alike.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Most Gorgeous Honeys: Black Locust and My Old Lady

-Posted by Isaac

Jayne turns a happy birthday 33 years old today.

Can I now safely call her "My old lady?"
No, I don't think so.
We're taking the day off. The sitter is coming, we're heading south for some quite kid-free hiking. Maybe the Hocking Hills; some fine dining in Laurelville. Maybe somewhere else. Who knows what the day will bring? We'll finish it out by grabbing the kids again and watching the county fair combine derby (Which unfortunately seems to be a highlight in Mason and Maizy's summer.)
If someone had told me ten years ago we'd be this cultured just by living here, I would never have believed it.
Speaking of cultured, I thought at some point today Jayne and I could partake in some grapes:

No, she won't go for that.
Jayne's a fan of riesling. This one happens to be from Ohio. Oooh, local!   Blah...
I'm going for whatever's in that other bottle.
A more refined pallet like mine requires something expensive. Imported. Maybe aged a bit longer...

Anyway, the real reason for this post:
(And another reason for the day off!) We've been so busy.

I finished up with the Spring honey last week. And as you can see, it's beautiful.

I just love this stuff. We had a decent locust flow this year, the hives are strong, and they sure made a lot of spring honey.

If you've never had black locust honey, come on out to a market (Worthington and the North Market) and pick some up. It's got a wonderful, delicate, light-on-the-tongue taste. Very unique. Hard to find. In fact, I've never seen it on a store shelf anywhere. In the past we've never harvested enough to wholesale. This year may be different but we're still talking that one out.
It's important to take the Spring honey supers off the hives  early because the clovers and thistles come on soon. The bees mix the nectars, diluting that pure and wonderful black locust.

Canadian Thistle
So it's been a busy two weeks.

One reason this honey is so hard to find is that many beekeepers don't bother messing around with extraction this early. Much of the honey is still uncapped, meaning it needs dried down a bit before it can be extracted and bottled. Our drying room works just fine for this. 

"Don't mind if I do!"
To me, the extra time and energy put into Spring honey is definitely worth it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Honor System

-posted by Jayne

Have you visited our farmstand and used the honor sytem?  It really does work!  Many are amazed that we trust mankind enough to leave a change box and our honey products out by the road, for sale... but we really do have a trustworthy community.  
Isaac made this sign when we started our little farmstand business back in 2006.
 Becky and I were also growing produce and flowers together at the time.
Here's a picture I snapped of the farmstand after I returned home from an early morning run with a friend in Circleville.  The moon was just creeping down behind it.

There's another great honor system, just south of Williamsport, at Blossoms at the Bend.  They offer amazing peonies and other u-pick flowers.   

 You can also enjoy some quiet time relaxing on the front porch of their work cabin.  It is a beautiful, calm, and peaceful setting.

Two other great honor systems are up in Holmes County, near my parents house.  I always visit Blessings Acres Produce, located at 6728 TR 362, Millersburg.  They have a little bucket where you drop your money, and a pad and paper if you need help with the math.  They had freshly picked strawberries for $3.50 a quart.  

You may have seen an earlier post where I talked about my favorite local milk supplier, who also employs the honor system.

 $4.00 a gallon for the freshest non-homogenized milk you can imagine.  They are partnering up with a person who is helping them sell the milk at the Granville Farmer's Market this summer.

I know some people find it odd that I am willing to travel to so many locations to get my food, when it is pretty easy to make one stop and get it in one place.  But when it comes to quality of the product, and knowing I am supporting families who work hard to produce the food it is definitely worth it.  

We're starting a new market this week!  We'll be at the Clintonville Wednesday market, from 4-7 p.m.    Rumor has it we *might* be taking some Spring honey off the hives tomorrow.  But I can't make any promises as to when it will be at market or in the Etsy shop.  I learned a long time ago, don't make promises to those honey-lovers who come to market... you can get in to trouble with the loca-vores when you don't deliver the goods they desire.  Time to get out and enjoy this beautiful mild Ohio weather we're having.