Wolf Creek : Vine Maple & Dewberry
Our Wolf Creek apiary is located near the confluence of the Big Elk River and Wolf Creek downriver from Harlan, Oregon. The Wolf Creek area was one of the last areas in Oregon to have extant wolf populations until the 1920s.
The site is across the river from a large patch of bigleaf maple trees and abundant spring forage plants including vine maple, dewberry, and chittum.
We harvested honey from the hives in this apiary three times between late April and late August. This varietal comes from the middle harvest in June. We have an earlier, stronger-flavored bigleaf maple honey available on our website.
Vine maple (Acer circinatum) is a large, native shrub that can form impenetrable thickets. It blooms in late April to early May with small, red flowers. Often wet Oregon spring weather prevents bees from producing an abundant vine maple honey crop, but the flowers are a good nectar and pollen source if bees can fly to access them.
Dewberry (Rubus ursinus), also knows as trailing blackberry or trip briar, is a low-growing native blackberry that produces edible fruits later in the summer. The dewberry bloom is one of the principle spring nectar flows for bees in the Pacific Northwest.
The Old Blue beehives kept in the Wolf Creek apiary are all queen breeder colonies. These treatment-free hives have been selected for multiple characteristics including disease resistance, wintering ability, and honey production.
This honey is bright and herbaceous with a medicinal aroma.
Wolf Creek : Wild Blackberry
This honey varietal is the last harvest from the hives in the Wolf Creek apiary (see above). The main component in this honey is wild blackberry nectar, but other pasture weeds were blooming during honey production including trefoil, lotus, clover, tansy, and several species of thistle.
Himalayan backberry (Rubus bifrons) is a non-native, naturalized species that is widespread in the area. It fruits prolifically in the summer.
We thought it might be interesting to include two honeys from the same hives in one sampler so that you could taste the difference between nectar flows from the same location.
The honey has a mild, dried fruit flavor with a little spice note.
Shedd : Coriander
We found this quote in Urban Dictionary useful for explaining the context of Shedd, Oregon. “No, I don’t live in a shed. I live in Shedd. Shedd, Oregon. It’s five miles north and six miles south of those other two towns you’ve never heard of.” Those other two towns are Tangent to the north and Halsey to the south. Shedd was actually named after a Civil War veteran who donated land for a railroad station. The Shedd Cafe makes a pretty darn good lunch if you’re ever passing through. Just to the east of Shedd, you can still visit the oldest continuously operating, water-powered mill in Oregon. It’s now a state park, Thompson Mills State Heritage Site.
Farmer Cody Younger, a classmate of Henry’s at OSU, rotates vegetable seed, oilseed, and cover crops through his grass seed fields. This was Cody’s second year growing coriander as a rotation crop, and it performed well on the site.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is the seed of the cilantro plant, a widely used culinary herb. The flowers provide easily accessed nectar and pollen resources for honeybees and other native bees. Flowering cilantro in a home garden makes for a good opportunity to observe a diverse array of pollinators.
The coriander honey has a floral flavor reminiscent of the smell of Queen Anne’s lace flowers and a lingering buttery finish. It has been very popular at tasting events in the last year. This year’s coriander honey is more quick to crystallize than other honeys. If/when it sets up, you can either eat it crystallized or heat it slowly in a warm water bath until it’s liquid again.