Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time
Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Hyped Up On Honey: The Secret Beekeeper Of Jersey City
Always on the lookout for things local and organic, I was intrigued by a post on a Jersey City website, offering local honey from Jersey City bees. I immediately emailed an inquiry, hoping to get my hands on some local honey. Andrew's Honey at the Greenmarket has supplied my habit, along with various other honey vendors but I loved the idea of having a source closer to home, what better way to feed my increasing honey habit. Not only that but perhaps this uber-local honey would be instrumental in alleviating my seasonal allergies next spring. More importantly, I was hyped up on the notion of meeting and supporting a local beekeeper.
M. (the honey man), contacted me and we set up a time for a clandestine meeting at a nearby park. Apparently beekeeping has to been done on the down-low, so as to avoid drawing too much attention to the bees and all their attendant charms. How could I be sure that he was really a beekeeper and not a kook? I guess I couldn't but I forged ahead, willing to take the risk for what could be some exceptional honey.
Izzy joined me on the adventure and we went out to play at the park. Izzy played while I sat on a bench awaiting the honey man. He arrived bearing a few jars of the dark amber liquid, in 8 oz. bottles bearing an artsy black and white label. M. and I chatted a long while about all things honey-related and then he came over to see my garden. We also had some tea, served of course with ample doses of the dark amber liquid. This honey seems more complex than the lighter honey I am used to. M. explained that the honey was a mixture of spring and autumn honey allowed to mingle together in the hive before collection.
The honey was better than I had imagined and I became so smitten with it and the whole notion of urban beekeeping that I offered to assist him with spreading the honey word around JC and beyond. He brought over several jars of his "Liberty City" limited edition, small batch artisanal honey. I wished I could keep them all for myself but promised I would do my best to find buyers. At 7$ a jar, this honey is a bargain, considering that New York City Rooftop honey sells for $15. If you moved to JC for more affordable housing, you can also benefit from the lower honey prices too! If you are interested, send me an email soon and some honey could be yours. Once you try it you will be longing for a hive in your own backyard. I sure am!
This honey is so local that the bees probably feasted on flowers from my very own garden, perhaps yours as well!