Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sourwood honey and soul food on a Saturday!

So on Saturday, I had the chance to finally meet Lynn, a fellow blogger and beekeeper who attended the Certified Naturally Grown workshop in Winston Salem. Lynn writes great posts on her blog, Walter Bee, and includes experiences and pictures of her bees and her beautiful garden. My friend Jared, a soon-to-be beekeeper who blogs at Jared's Adventure in Beekeeping also attended the class. He's the person that mentioned the class to me in the beginning and got me interested in the workshop, then Lynn decided to come down from her home in the mountains and go too. I'm glad she did because it was fun to finally meet and talk face-to-face.

Lynn came bearing gifts. She brought me some wonderful beekeeping literature from other sources in North Carolina and Tennessee. I can't wait to read them on these cold winter days when I can't get outside. She also brought some information on bee attractive plants for your yard which I'm sharing with Jared who has a jump on me in the planting department. While I've planted some things around my property, I could do a lot more, and I'm glad Lynn shared this information. She also brought some information on how to catch swarms. Lots of good reading to keep my eyes and brain busy for awhile.

After our morning workshop session ended and it was time for lunch, Jared suggested this nearby place called Mountain Fried Chicken. I had never been there and neither had Lynn so we decided to give it a try on Jared's recommendation. It was great! The chicken was terrific and they had a ton of side items like green beans, mashed potatoes, stewed apples, turnip greens, corn on the cob, and different fruit cobblers. It was definitely soul food, maybe it would be better described as Southern comfort food. I stuffed myself on chicken tenders and potato wedges and sweet tea (if you're Southern, you have to drink sweet tea). As we ate we had the chance to talk and catch up on life since we didn't have much time to do that in class. I really enjoyed it and I think Lynn and Jared did too.

As I mentioned, Lynn came bearing gifts. Not only did she bring me the wonderful beekeeping literature, but she brought me a jar of her very own sourwood honey! I love honey (after all, I keep bees) and Lynn's sourwood is a really light, golden brown. I knew as soon as I got home, I would have to sample some of it. It was almost as if it was calling my name all the way back. And I knew the perfect food to accompany my honey would be some fresh honey wheat bread. So later after the workshop, Jared and I made a stop at Dewey's Bakery and I got a couple loaves of bread, wheat and white. If you ever get the chance to go to a Dewey's...GO! But if you're on a diet, you can kiss that goodbye with a trip to the bakery! 

The pictures you see of the honey and the bread are ones I made myself (and my bosses at the television station would be very proud of me for making a visually pleasing presentation). But I just wanted you to see how light and beautiful Lynn's honey is. And it tastes absolutely terrific! There's nothing like sourwood honey. If people know you have it, it goes very fast. Unfortunately sourwood doesn't fare too well here is what I'm told..otherwise I would plant some just to have the same taste Lynn's honey has. Lynn, great job on the nectar of the hive! I know you're proud and you should be.

I learned that Lynn is a really great person and a lot of fun to hang out with. You can talk with her and tell she's passionate about her bees and about her gardening. When she talks about them, she positively glows. She has a lot to share with others on her ideas and passions. I know that if need to ask a question, especially when it comes to good things for my yard or bees, I would readily ask Lynn what she would do for sure. 

Lynn, thanks for coming down and going to the workshop and thanks for my bag of goodies! It was very sweet of you to do! Literally!

Call when you come back this way and let's all go to dinner.   


  1. Lovely photo of you two - now I can put a face to the name ! Sounds like you had a great day. We can`t taste other honeys unless we travel overseas, so I just have to dream about sourwood honey - I must google it and find out what the botanical name of the tree is.

    One day i hope to meet you both - you never know, this kiwi gal may turn up on your doorstep with a jar of pure floral honey !

  2. Hi Mark - I made it back to the snowy mountains this afternoon with out any problem. Thanks for the nice words. I really did enjoy meeting you and Jared. Great to see young people interested in beekeeping.

    We will definitely keep touch and you know you can call on me any anytime you might have a question. I might not have the answer for you, but between us, I'll bet we can come up with something. Take care!

  3. Lovely words Mark. You've just put a huge smile all over my face although I'm green with envy - it sounds like you all had great craic, as we say in these parts.

    Still bitterly cold here although the bees could still be heard inside the hive so they're still alive anyway!

    Been very busy but will post soon

  4. Man I enjoyed that lunch just reading your description of it! Yumm! The food is sometimes the best part of beekeeper meetings. Sweet Tea Rules!

  5. Awesome... never tried Sourwood honey, but will have to one of these days. Glad you've enjoyed the education and relationships.

  6. Ngaio: Bring it on! It would be great to see you, so bring your kiwi self on to the States. And bring honey!

    Lynn: You know I will! And likewise (course you have me beat in the knowledge department).

    Cliff: Its great to hear from you! Lynn and I spoke of you on Saturday and how much we enjoy your posts. Can't wait to see your new posts.

    Steve: I never realized that sweet tea was a Southern thing until I went to St. Louis and tried to order some, haha. The waitress told me that I was north of the Mason-Dixon line. She didn't have grits either!

    Beau: Great to hear from you too. Sourwood honey is (as the kids say or used to say) da bomb! If I could plant sourwood trees here and get them to live, I would. But they have to be in that mountain climate and I'm in the Piedmont and they won't make it. As long as Lynn keeps bees, I'll be okay.



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