Today I began going to work with people (I would still add you to my list btw). Today I was asked to pour honey with Carol Marshall for a few hours. When I arrived I pulled up to see bee hives right nearby. I found out later that Jim and Carol have 100 hives, a cutdown from before but it still delighted me! Even though the rain was starting up, I couldn’t wait for my tour! Jim and Carol are fantastic. They walked me around just a little glimpse of their over 18 acres. I walked around the pond and looked at varieties of trees, watched the beautiful pheasants that Jim is raising, met the three lamas, marveled over the teeny quail eggs, waved at the chickens, and saw more bee hives. Jim even introduced me to the new swarm. He doesn’t know if the swarm has a queen but if it does, it may find a home in my yard! I also got to see the beautiful beeswax candles that Jim and Carol make…they are fantastic! They are intricate and the wax is a warm yellow. Then it was down to work!
Carol took me into a room that was warm and full of sweet scent. Carol explained to me that bees actually make honey from one food source so they are able to coordinate the types of honey. She had me try clover, blackberry, raspberry and wildflower honey. Each one is unique and so yummy! Then we looked at the different sizes of honey jars that are sold at Beaverton’s Saturday Market. Jim and Carol sell a variety of sizes of 100 percent raw honey from their many bees. Sounds like Jim and Carol might be experimenting with different “flavors” of honey in the future (different plants that the bees resource from).
Then it was time to pour. I had the best time chatting while I poured (carefully) into each size. I got to pour blackberry and wildflower honey. The honey smoothly moves out of these large silver jugs (covered vats?). In between sizes, Carol took me on a tour of where the honey is extracted and wax is filtered down. The equipment is covered in sticky and sooo cool! I loved every minute. I peeked into the extractor where 20 frames get to spin around until honey drips out. This is after frames are put through the de capper machine and just before the honey pours into a large warm vat. Then it is pour into what I am pouring from (the room is kept a lovely warm so the honey won’t crystallize).
We talked about life, faith, and what we like to do in our “extra” hours. This has got to be what building community is all about.
At the end of our time, I got to take a bit of wildflower honey with me and felt like I now know these fab people a little bit more. I also feel as though I learned more about what it means to create a bit of a homestead. Bees have so much character and I really like the people that keep them. 🙂 Stay tuned as I hang with Dr. Schieber on Thursday…