If you’ve sampled honey from a farm, chances are no other kind will ever taste as good.
Honey from Rustic Road Farm, which maintains its own hives, is raw. Most commercial honey is pasteurized. It’s like drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice versus off the shelf.
Farm honey is also not filtered and it’s 100 percent pure. Commercial honey can contain 49 percent corn or rice syrup and still be called honey.
As the flowers bloom and sweet nectar appears to attract the bees for pollination, the bees store the excess in the comb and turn it into honey. A hive is made up of boxes called supers and each one contains frames. The bees use the frames to deposit wax and build comb for raising brood and storing honey. A hive needs one full super of honey to make it through the winter.
The rest is fair game for us farmers. But it takes careful management of food and water for the bees. Excess pesticides and fungicides from commercial growers are a challenge for organic bee keepers. Not only do they directly kill bees, residues brought back to the hive interfere with reproduction and the microbes necessary to turn nectar into honey.
Successful bee keeping is quite challenging but farmers can’t imagine not raising bees, which also benefit our environment.
¾ cup sugar
4 ounces butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup honey
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Zest of ½ orange
1½ teaspoons flaky sea such, such as Maldon
1 unbaked pie shell
Whisk together sugar, butter, cornmeal vanilla and salt. Add honey and eggs, one at a time. Add cream, vinegar and orange zest. Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated 375F oven for 45 to 50 minutes (cover edges with foil if necessary). Rotate the pie and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the filling is set but still moves slightly. Cool, sprinkle with flaky salt and serve.