The drought has taken it’s toll on California and it can be seen on the side of the freeway, on the hiking trails, and in the front yards of the communities. There are other places where the drought is being felt that have taken a toll on our food supply, yet with a little ingenuity that can be changed.
I recently found a local company that is thinking not just outside the box but outside the hive. Yes, I’m talking about honey. I shop for my honey on the 126 at Bennett’s Honey Farm. It is a wonderful family run business that has great local honey and a cute little tasting room so you can select your favorite varieties of (mostly) local honey. I think local honey is great, it is good for allergies and for our local economy so normally I buy local honey however sometimes there are exceptions.
I had noticed over the last months that as our drought has deepened one of my two favorite honey varieties, Sage, has become scarce. When I first realized there was a very small amount I asked them about it at Bennett’s. They told me that the drought had turned the sage fields, where they usually bring the bees, bare. The sage was not blooming! California Sage is a very drought tolerant plant but the fields have had almost no water for three years, so no sage plants for their bees to pollinate. Nooooooo!
Enter smart thinking – thinking outside the hive I’ll call it. They decided to bring their bees to another source. They did some research and found a flower that they felt would produce a honey of similar flavor and one that was in need of bees. With the bee colony collapse there have been less bees in both South Georgia and Florida where the honey is normally collected. The new honey is called Gallberry Honey and is from the plant called Ilex glabra, and the crop they selected to use is in Georgia. So, they loaded some of their bees and keepers on a truck and off they went!
The result is outstanding. It is a great product much loved by honey connoisseurs, it is said to be a good baking honey and is a high pollen honey so it is slow to crystallize even in cool temperatures. I think it is pretty delicious.
Bennett’s has a great little tasting room that is a great place to stop on your way to Ventura or Santa Barbara. They have their famous honey, candies, jars and containers for honey, wonderful hand creams with honey in them, and some really beautiful bee’s wax candles too. Take a drive out the 126 and spend some time sampling their wares.
If you would like to create a Water Wise Garden paradise please think about calling me to help you design it. I love to collaborate with my clients, and would love to collaborate with you. Call me at 661-917-3521 or visit my website and contact me there.