Thursday, August 2, 2012

Honey, Honey, How You Thrill Me

If you know me, you know I like to sing. Heck, even if you don’t know me, you probably know I like to sing. Especially if you happen to live in my apartment complex, in which case you might know me as “that girl who sings I Have Confidence in Sunshine on her way back from the laundry room, swinging around a jug of detergent as if it’s a guitar case and trying to master the jump-and-heel-click move. That girl.”

Sometimes people even pay me to sing. So in order to keep those people happy (as well as my sleepless and resentful friendly and adoring apartment complex neighbors), I drink a lot of tea and honey to soothe my throat. Every singer has a different remedy for a sore throat (including cortisone shots to the jugular – I kid you not), but mine has always been chamomile tea sweetened with a tablespoon of honey.

Obviously, when I switched to a vegan diet a year and a half ago, I had to kick my honey habit. But now that I’ve reintroduced animal products into my diet, I’m back on the good stuff.

My honey provider of choice is San Marcos Farms, with locations in Santa Ynez (distance from me: 30 miles), Ojai (distance from me: 33 miles), and Santa Barbara. Owners Dan and Anne Cole were some of the first farmers to participate in local farmers markets in the 1980s. Now they sell honey and honey products at markets all over the Santa Barbara area and in local grocery stores.

My favorite variety is sage honey from Santa Ynez. I’ve even been substituting it for sugar in my coffee; it’s delicious. San Marcos Farms also produces orange blossom honey in Ojai and avocado and wildflower honey here in Santa Barbara.

The Coles make sure their bees have all the honey and pollen they need, extracting only the excess honey during the harvest. Compared to commercial honey, which is shipped to industrial honey packers in 650-pound barrels, this local stuff tastes incredible.
Sage honey in my coffee.
But their bees, like many, are victims of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). CCD might be the result of mite infestations, viral and bacterial diseases, and/or new systemic pesticides. It’s bad news not just for bees and beekeepers, but for farmers who depend on honey bees to pollinate their fruits and vegetables.

The only way I can think of to fight CCD from my end is to keep supporting San Marcos Farms and other local honey producers, so they have the funds to keep their bees alive and healthy.

Meanwhile, I’ll be going all Winnie-the-Pooh-style on my sage honey, stuffing my mouth, nose, and chin into the biggest jar I can get my hands on and gulping it down.

Unfortunately, it’s a little tricky to sing in that position.

But don’t worry, neighbors! Once I emerge, I will don my light-blue, impossibly unflattering spandex jumpsuit and serenade you with my favorite honey-themed song and the inspiration for the title of this post:


  1. I love their avocado honey! Bought a huge jar and then my roommate went through half of it :( Yay bees!

  2. you are so cute and witty, and I love you. And I love honey. Rosemary honey, should you stumble upon it, will change your life. Just saying. xoxo :)