Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Mysterious Buckwheat Honey

 The honey crop was wonderfully dark and delicious this year.  We've got stacks of buckets of honey waiting to be bottled. This bee is enjoying the nectar of the borage flower  - used in our Blues Tea.
I love the fuzzy stems and leaves of borage - known as the glad herb.  For some wonderful history of the borage plant check out A Modern Herbal.  I took lots of pics of the bees in the borage patch.  One of them made it to our new series of blank greeting cards - available directly from us at markets and fairs. Coming to the website soon!

At last, we have buckwheat honey!  After trying for too many years to admit, we have finally managed to get our second ever crop of buckwheat honey.  The first one was back when we were starting out and worked purely on beginner's luck.  What we have learned over the years is that the flowers of the buckwheat don't have a lot of nectar.  So, if you put your hives on the edge of a field of buckwheat in full bloom in the dark of night and expect the bees to wake up in the morning and get right to work making honey from the strong smelling nectar, you may be disappointed.  The bees, in their infinite wisdom, will choose the best source of nectar they can find, not the closest.  This year because of the drought there was nothing better for them so they went for the buckwheat.  We are delighted to offer this pungent, dark, strong honey.  The buckwheat was grown by the good folks at Cherry Vale Organic Farm just down the road from us.

This is our second year harvesting hazelnuts from our trees.  We planted them about five years ago.  They are beautiful in their husks - like fairy hats.  I would like to make a hazelnut cake with them for Hazel's birthday this year.  They should be cured just in time for her birthday which is Christmas day.
The kids and I had such a great time at Small Pond Arts scarecrow festival.  We made this handsome fellow on a very windy fall day.  Hazel drew the face onto the cloth head before we stuffed it with straw.  You can tell by the orange mouths on the kids they were having fun.  We've enjoyed all the events we've been to at Small Pond, including making shadow puppets, watching a shadow puppet show, Stickfest, Cornography, and just going for a walk in their woods on the art path.
I just couldn't resist snapping a photo of the laundry line full of napkins and tea towels and things with the fall colours looking so beautiful.  The path into our woods is right under the laundry line so I always feel like the laundry is a kind of fluttering banner pointing the way into a magical world.
Our woods is the kind of place you can find giant marshmallows growing, I mean giant puffball mushrooms.  We told Hazel and Rowan we would sell any puffballs they found and they could keep the money.  They sure were excited the day they found about fifteen puffballs between them.  When we sold all but the very biggest ones at market the next day they were even more impressed.
I am raising money to go to Australia!  I've never been there before and when the opportunity presented itself to go to a yoga retreat with some friends I decided to go for it.  So, in order to make this happen I am selling some of my paintings.  I have several that I am willing to part with.  I keep telling myself that I can always make more.  This painting I did in Halifax many years ago in the fall.  It's oil on board, 11"x23", framed - $600.  You can contact me at honeypiehh@hotmail.com if you're interested in this painting or in seeing the other paintings.