Notes from the Honey House
Mid-Summer Update July 16 2017
I thought it was finally time to post an update! Where are we? What are we up to? How are the bees? We love answering all of your questions at the Farmer's Markets.
This year is our first year with Peter full-time beekeeping and we are running about 70 hives in 30 different locations at this point in the year. Unfortunately, due to the wet spring, our honey production has been very slow. We have harvested honey from Victory Heights and Ridgecrest, and are about to harvest honey from Pinehurst and Broadview.
We can be found every Saturday at the Shoreline Farmers Market, and sporadic Thursdays at the Lake City Farmers Market. Check our Facebook page for updates on when we are at Lake City.
We also have been working on a few new products including beeswax candles and a beeswax and oil wood conditioning cream for cutting boards and wooden spoons. We'll post more about all of that soon!
As always, thanks for supporting local bees.
And here's a sneak peek at our new Beeswax Wood Butter:
Find Your Backyard Honey July 26 2016
It's been great seeing so many of you at the Shoreline Farmers Market these last few weeks. We are at the Shoreline Farmers Market every other week, and will also be at the Lake City Farmers Market every other week starting in August. The bees are busily making more honey!
Shoreline Farmers Market - Saturdays, 10am-3pm
Featuring Richmond Highlands Honey
Lake City Farmers Market - Thursdays, 3-7pm
Featuring Pinehurst & Victory Heights Honey
To Market We Go! July 17 2015 1 Comment
As we have been prepping for the Shoreline Farmers Market this Saturday (July 18th), we were reminded of the week before our first market last year. Last summer we were still finishing up our logo/label when everything fell in place for us to start selling at the market - in exactly a week! At that point we didn't have a finished label, postcards, market supplies (canopy, handwashing station, etc.). Even though it's not nearly as crazy as last year, the week before a market always seems to be particularly busy for us. Since we're producing raw, local honey, we have to wait for the bees to make the product - and sometimes that's later than we'd like!
What does a week before the market look like? Or at least, what did this week look like?
Saturday (7 days to go) - Inspect hives in Shoreline to see if there is honey to harvest. Thankfully, the bees had been busy! At this point we put on a bee escape (a one-way maze) so the bees will leave the honey supers (boxes) naturally, without having to use any chemicals. Inspect Greenwood hives, decide there is not enough to harvest...yet.
Monday (5 days to go) - Remove the honey supers from the Shoreline hives. Bottle 40lbs of Fremont Honey, and pour 40lbs more Fremont honey into the bottler.
Tuesday (4 days to go) - Waiting day as the honey settles in the bottler, and air bubbles rise to the top. This helps the honey be nice and clear when bottled.
Wednesday (3 days to go) - Extract 46lbs of Shoreline honey and bottle another 20lbs of Fremont.
Thursday (2 days to go) - Pour Shoreline honey into the bottler first thing in the morning...and wait for it to settle. Label bottled Fremont honey.
Friday (1 day to go) - Finish labeling Fremont honey, and bottle and label Shoreline honey...and go to sleep when finally finished! Oh, and finish and print newly redesigned postcards and business cards.
What does this schedule mean when you both work full-time? A week full of sticky evenings.
I also worked on another project for the market this week in between the bottling - here's a sneak peek!
Cranberry, Blueberry & Honey Popsicles - Oh My! June 28 2015
With temperatures in the 90's today, after attempting to work in the garden the one thing on my mind was GETTING COOL. So I pulled out the 'ol popsicle molds and stood with the fridge door open too long to get some inspiration. The result was amazing. And the best part? All of the ingredients are from companies we love, and you can buy all of the ingredients yourself at the Shoreline Farmer's Market.
Here's what you'll need:
- Rainy Day Bees honey (of course)
- Raw local honey - what could be better?
- Starvation Alley Farms cranberry juice
- Peter and I have fallen in love with cranberries in our smoothies, and Starvation Alley is the first organic cranberry producer in Washington.
- Smith Brothers Farms Milk
- All other milk pales in comparison (no really, we can't make ourselves drink other milk).
- Frozen blueberries
- We picked these blueberries at Cottage Gardens Blueberry Farm in Duvall, which has 7 ft tall heirloom blueberry bush-trees. We highly recommend them for Seattle-area u-pick.
Ok - I'll stop with the love fest now and give you the recipe! It's very simple:
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons raw honey (or more...)
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 1 cup milk
Put all the ingredients into the blender. Yep, it's that easy. At this point I was incredibly tempted to just drink the mixture. That is fully an option, because this is a tasty smoothie in its own right.
But if you have the patience, poor the mixture into a popsicle mold, stick it in the freezer and wait for at least 4 hours. This made just the right amount for my 6-popsicle mold.
Here's the final product, in it's tart, sweet and tasty glory. Farmer Pete noted that while the above amount of sweetness was perfect when drinking the recipe as a smoothie, he would add another tablespoon of honey to the popsicles. So - you choose for you!
You may wonder where Peter was in the midst of this? He was in the heat harvesting over 100 lbs of honey. In this heat the honey runs very easily out of the extractor, so we (and by we, I completely mean Peter, since I collapsed in the basement) are taking advantage of the hot weather and getting product ready for our next market on July 18th.