I don’t know where I got this jar of honey. It seems to have been around for a long time. The label is worn and says “$3.50” on the plastic cover, so the price is at least five years. You can’t get candy for that price anymore.
An eight ounce jar of honey doesn’t last long in my house – I love the stuff – so I don’t know why I’ve kept it so long without eating it. But it’s in my cupboard and I used it in tea the other day and thought, wow, this is great.
I called the number on the “Bailey Hill Honey” website. The owner’s name was also on the label, and when Ed Chapman answered his home phone, we spent some time trying to figure out where I got his honey from. He lives near Ellicotville, and about eight years ago, I went that way to camp with my grandchildren. He said he sold his honey at a farm stand near the campground back then and that’s probably where I picked it up. But eight years ago? I can’t imagine a bottle of honey sitting in my cupboard for eight years, but I remember how hard we tend to remember as the years go by.
The honey was sweet even when it was old, but it is the best thing about honey. Honey is not perishable. Something sweet like home in there—white western New York. Ed says he’s been making honey for a long time, and it’s just ordinary honey, honey, but you’ve never heard of it, I’m sure, because Ed doesn’t ship, advertise on Facebook, or have a website or farm sales. outside his city. He found it odd that I called him from far away to ask about the bottle of honey I bought a long time ago. When I asked him if he could send me a few bottles, he said he would look into them. Shipping is not something they do. Always.
I love this story because it’s so refreshing to meet someone with the old ways of the good old days. Ed Chapman doesn’t know the first thing about Instagram and that’s why I love him. I like to support small businesses, especially businesses that still think it’s 1954. If they’re making a profit without using a cell phone or the post office, then they’re avoiding him.
Our region has the best honey. Panama Bee Honey is my favorite too, although I have never had a bad jar of honey from our region.
I went to Florida a few years ago and stopped at the Florida-Georgia border to buy some Tupelo honey. Tupelo honey is one of the rarest honeys in the world, and for centuries it was an under-the-radar delicacy eaten in parts of Georgia and Florida, where the white Ogeechee tupelo tree blooms ten days a year. That is, until the 1970s when rock star Van Morrison released his album, Tupelo Honey. Ever since this starburst, honey has been sought after by consumers and prized for its buttery flavor and floral aroma.
The important thing to know about wildflower honey is that it can come from anywhere in the world; the name simply means that the bees took nectar from local plants. On the other hand, tupelo honey can come from the flowers of tupelo trees, which grow in parts of the Apalachicola River in Florida and Georgia.
We should all be good at honey. It’s in our genes. The Egyptians were fans, but it is as old as written history, dating back to 2100 BC when it was mentioned in the Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform texts. Its name comes from the English word “hunig,” and it was the first and most common spice used by humans. Honey was very valuable and was often used as money, tribute or donations. In the 11th century AD, German farmers paid their masters in honey and beeswax. It’s a business model I can appreciate – a rental honey.
I never fail to buy a jar of honey wherever I travel. These financial successes were from Greece; there are just so many wild flowers. The truth is, honey aside, we need bees. They directly contribute to one-third of the American food supply: apples, peaches, lettuce, squash, melons, broccoli, cranberries, tree nuts, blackberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums, clementines, tangerines, sunflowers, pumpkins, and beans. cow. The problem is they die. The number of communities in the US—2.7 million—is less than half of what it was at the turn of the 20th century, and has remained empty since the early 2000s. Let’s believe that it is a struggle that we will win.
If you’re near Ellicotville, stop by and buy a jar of honey from Ed Chapman at Bailey Hill Honey. He made 600 pounds this year. And I’m here to tell you, eight years in, it’s still delicious.