Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm Craving Something Salty

We got our honey harvest bottled up today.  It went from the extractor into one large pail with a spout which we let sit overnight close by the wood stove so the honey would be more liquid-y and go through the strainers more easily.



 Flowing into the strainers which we placed on top of another pail with a spout.  Talk about golden nectar!


As the unfiltered honey filled the straining equipment, it bubbled and swirled and created all kinds of constantly changing designs which was fascinating to watch.  (We don't get out much.  Can you tell?)


Here's the final product stored in half-gallon jars.  A total of 48-1/2 pounds of golden honey from our own little busy bees.  It's been a long while since I've had to buy honey so I don't know how much per pound it's selling for in the store, but I'll bet this harvest represents a tidy little amount.

I've washed the kitchen floor three times now and we're still sticking as we walk across it.  The main counter where we worked has been wiped off a gazillion times but still seems tacky.  This is with two fairly neat adults (no kiddies "helping" by spreading honey-coated fingers hither and yon) involved in the process.

Right now, for some odd reason, I don't have a taste for anything sweet.  So just give me some potato chips and nobody will get hurt.

41 comments:

DFW said...

Beautiful Mama Pea!

Our neighbors just started selling their honey. I think they have about 6 1/2 hives. Will probably buy some from them.

We usually stop on our way home from the Country House & buy some. I think it's $8 or $9 for each quart. More, if it has the comb which I don't like.

All raw, all natural ... just like I like it!

odiie said...

Makes me wish I still had my bees. Looks wonderful. My neighbor just sold me some honey for $12 a quart. I'm blessed to have been able to get some. Does this harvest last you (and Chicken Mama?) all year?
Rhonda

Kelly said...

Wow!!! That's a fantastic harvest! It looks so pretty sitting on your counter!

Sparkless said...

Oh yum! I'm on the look out for some local honey. It will probably cost me a small fortune to buy but it's so good who can resist?

Lisa said...

Ok MamaPea my address to send a jar is ....... haha just kidding but seriously I am rationing honey left over from last yr. I have a feed store customer who supplies me in a good year. He runs the local beekeeper society.

Erin said...

You are amazing, that is a fortune you have stashed! Out here I pay $5.69 for a little 6 ounce jar of local stuff. Very beautiful jars you have!

Katidids said...

Beautiful! Looks like liquid gold all lined up on the counter. Around here raw honey is about $8.50 a quart....and thats the bottom price, others have it for about $10.50. Hmm, I do believe that is liquid gold! Lotta work theere!

Katidids said...

Opps! I said quart but Its for a pint!

Jennifer Jo said...

Wow!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - All raw and all natural is the only way to go. Good stuff!

Mama Pea said...

Rhonda - Yes, it should be plenty for us with some to give as gifts.

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - Yup, it's kinda like lining up jars of jam or jars of pickles and not wanting to put them away. Just leave them out and admire them for a while!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Did you know if you can get some raw, natural honey from bees in your local area it does wonders if you have allergies? Relieves them for many people. But it has to be honey made in the region where you live.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Lucky you to have the local beekeeper head guy as a friend and customer!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I'm thinking that's what the little honey bear squeeze bottles of honey sell for around here, too. Geesh, maybe we should keep our honey under lock and key! ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Katidids - Good grief, honey has gotten expensive! It is a lot of work . . . especially up here near the tundra! Our biggest challenge is always keeping the bees alive over our long winters.

Mama Pea said...

JJ - Thanks!

Wendy said...

Your honey looks yummy! I love fresh honey especially with the comb in. So good and chewy. It sells for $16.00 dollars here per quart jar.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Golden honey looks so beautiful lined up so pretty in the jars!

Akannie said...

How do you keep them alive over winter? We haven't set our hives up yet (brought them from NC when we moved here)--and have officially gone through all the honey we had.

The Irishman is afraid he can't get them through the winters here...

Susan said...

Pure gold in every sense of the word! Doesn't that just warm your cockles knowing that you have the world's best natural sweetener stashed away in your stores? I do miss my bees, but something had to give. Maybe in a year or five....

Carolyn Renee said...

I second the comment of how you keep them. Would you mind doing a mini "how we keep bees" post one day? I'd be very interested!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Can't wait to see a picture of your new pantry, full of the preserved harvest of your summer's labors :)

Stephanie said...

So gorgeous!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

What a great looking harvest! And for someone who is not a sweets person that should last..what...like 50 years?

LindaCO said...

Ha! I wonder if the smell satisfied (or oversatisfied) any craving for sweets.

Homebodies or not, that is a really impressive amount of honey. Good to see the bees are doing OK in your neck of the woods.

The Weekend Homesteader said...

$6-$8 a quart? That's cheap! Just a pint of honey sells in my neck of the woods for $10, and I have people lined up to buy our honey should we decide to sell some. That's a great harvest, and I totally empathize with your inability to get rid of all the stickiness. We had the same problem in our kithcen.

Mama Pea said...

Wendy - For some reason, our comb was all darker than usual this harvest. Hubby likes to "sample" as we're working, but because I'm not a sweet(s) person (ha-ha, many may agree!) I don't have trouble not popping tidbits in my mouth!

Mama Pea said...

Simply Scaife Family - Thank you! I didn't want to pack it away!

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - I think you're close to where we used to live in Illinois and we never had any trouble wintering over our bees there. Up here our winters are so long and cold that some winters it's close to impossible for the bees to get out for their necessary cleansing flights. If there aren't enough bees in the hive to create enough warmth, they freeze. And, of course, they need so much more food to make it through the long months without anything outside to replenish their stores.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - We all have to make (hard) choices as to what to put our time and money on. Maybe if we were Martha Stewart with her millions and huge staff we could do everything we want to. But then . . . we would lose something because we would no long be . . . us!

Mama Pea said...

CR - Keeping bees differs SO greatly depending on your individual climate. I should think it wouldn't be hard for you at all in your location. As indicated before, our long, cold winters present a particular challenge for us. We need to face certain circumstances and handle our bees a certain way because of that. We wrap our hives with insulation for winter and position them so they face south but are protected from winds on the other three directions. Some folks in Canada not far from us have had success moving their hives into a temperature moderated building for winter. Also we have nothing but garden or landscaping blossoms and wild flowers for the bees to work. There are no fields of buckwheat or clover or such in our area to provide spring/summer/fall food for our bees. So you can see how we keep bees wouldn't have a lot of application to potential beekeepers in more tempered climates. Wish I could give you more information but we all deal with particular weather and conditions that affect how we keep bees.

Mama Pea said...

Jen - My pantry is still a bit of a sore spot. The man I live with continues to use any empty space on the floor or shelves for storage of non-pantry items for lack of anywhere else to put them. I think I may have to resort to a personal padlock on the door so I can finally get it arranged the way I want it!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - It is kinda purdy, isn't it?

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Maybe longer than 50 years if I didn't use it in baking and my coffee swilling husband didn't use it in every cup of coffee!

Mama Pea said...

LindaCO - You hit the nail on the head. It's just like when you bake Christmas cookies all day. At first, they all taste so good but by the end of the day you don't care if you never see another cookie again!

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - Isn't it crazy how so much sticky stuff can get in/on places it never should?

gld said...

I didn't know you did bees! I keep thinking about it but DH discourages me.....he knows how I balloon up when stung.

The honey looks beautiful (I can almost smell it) and it matches your gorgeous kitchen perfectly.

gld said...

My Lord! I am on a roll....I got yours and Krazo's code things on the first try.

Mama Pea said...

gld - We deal with the same problem here. I'm very allergic to insect bites, especially stings from hornets, wasps or bees. I'm not close to going into anaphylactic shock (thankfully) but, I, like you, experience a lot of swelling and have flu-like symptoms for a couple of days after being stung. Fortunately, our bees are normally very docile and I've learned how to act/react around them. The advantage of having them to pollinate in our garden and the wonderful honey we get from them is definitely a balance to my allergic reaction.

Thanks for your kind words!

Mama Pea said...

gld - I think I must be luckier than some other bloggers 'cause I rarely have trouble with the Word Verifications. Although, they really are a pain in the patoot, aren't they?