Well, the hardworking bees make it, of course!
Honestly, we can't do it all. Don't tell my husband I admitted it, though...
Our next door neighbor, Chad Draper, is our source for our honey. He's been doing it since he was a young boy & his family did it for decades prior to that. He's earned his stripes as the very best beekeeper I have ever known. And he's a good friend which is a lot of fun, too.
I can't convey the extensive knowledge & expertise Chad has about everything BEE, as well as almost any topic, really. And I love passing that on to you.
I LOVE TALKING HONEY. Learning where honey fits into your lives. How you use it. Some use it medicinally, others use it as an alternative to sugar. Some just like it, period. Some make their own salves, skin or shampoo cleansers, so, internally AND externally.
There are a zillion articles debating whether it's PROVEN to help with allergies or boost immunity. I have customers SWEAR it does. If it helps you (& it does me so I concur), have at it. I'm on your side. I'm no FDA but if I get a daily 'vaccine' & it tastes this good, and helps me feel great, I won't fight it.
The hives are in Steuben County, NY & Tioga County, PA. Typically the honey is extracted right after the bees have worked the specific flower areas so they are as distinct as possible. But do know there's no such thing as organic or 100% (one kind of) honey. Bees are indiscriminate. They know what the heart wants among all the other nectars. They aren't monogomous to flowers. And they fly up to 2 miles (as the crow flies) to feed so you can only control so much of what they do. Similar to certain people or animals. (If you don't believe me, try herding a bunch of chickens or cats. Or pigs. or calves. Or teens. You get the drift).
So, what kinds of honey does SteAmy Farms offer me? That varies from year to year & where the hives are located. We usually have spring Locust, Summer Basswood & Knapweed (sometimes referred to as Star Thistle), Fall Bamboo (Japanese Knotweed) & Goldenrod (+ ragweed that is the allergen you probably actually feel, not the goldenrod.... Don't fear, the bees work them both).
2019 has been a good year for the bees, and ultimately, us. We were able to extract a lovely spring & summer blend (Locust, Knapweed, & Basswood) which I've named 'Vitality.' It's light & florally, very distinct.
Knapweed, often referred to by beekeepers as 'Star Thistle' because they think it sounds better :) but we'll just call it Knapweed.
Goldenrod - we have ultra-raw thicker (smooth) honey and liquid versions.
We have additional varieties from last season:
* *Golden-Thistle* * (summer/fall blend
* * Wildflower * *
* * Bamboo/Japanese Knotweed
Can't decide? Come see me at our markets where I let you sample them all. Or, get the 2 ounce samplers!
Why do you sample the honey, Amy?
I have people ask me often, "I'd like the 'normal' honey," or "Do they really taste differently?"
Here's the thing...YES! They ARE different!
Sidebar, stick with me here... I can't get enough cilantro. I love it. My husband, however, would like to see it extinct. Apparently there's a hateful gene or something. OK, OK. I get it- It tastes like soap. But I LOVE it. Probably too much. We all have our preferences.
Welcome to the wonderful world of honey.
I love star thistle & Locust blended. I love Bamboo drizzled on charred veggies from the oven. I love Basswood in my honey or tart cherry-ade. Honey butter- people, if you've never made it, please make it NOW. Honey, soft butter, & confectioners sugar. Put on warm toast or go crazy & melt onto popcorn. You're welcome.
Give it a whirl & you decide. I find most who come in ASSUMING they want one, but try another, end up falling in love with the other one. And kids are the most entertaining. Who knew honey was so polarizing? People are VERY particular about their honey.
And I. LOVE. IT!!!
Let's talk crystalization. People... it's a good thing. For the LOVE OF GOD DON'T throw it away. Or microwave honey. You can gently warm in (I use an electric roaster oven with water in it set to 105* for a few days. Some people like it crystallized. Some tell me they just microwave it (GASP! NEVER DO THAT TO RAW HONEY!) but either way, crystallization is OK. Really.
But it's easy to mitigate if you don't want it that way. Gentle, people. Gentle.
Come & enjoy the only natural food that (when properly stored, never spoils. Life is short. Eat Honey. Every day!