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Making Elderberry Syrup and Oxymel

We did our test batch of elderberry syrup and an oxymel this week.

We started with frozen elderberries from the farm. They went in the steam juicer for 40 minutes. The steam juicer pulled the eldeberberry juice out of the berries and allowed us to drain juice into a pot. We added ginger and clove to the juice and then simmered the juice to reduce the volume in half.

We then strained the mixture to remove the pieces of ginger and clove. The next step was to let it cool before adding the raw honey from the farm. We want to make sure we don’t heat the mixture above 105-110 degrees F. This helps preserve the benefical qualities of the raw, local honey.

You can see the dark color of the syrup, even after we mix it with the honey.

The next step was to pour the syrup and honey mixture into jars for elderberry syrup.

We also made an elderberry oxymel. The oxymel is approximately 1/3 apple cider vinegar. So we added the vinegar to the jars and then filled jar with the elderberry syrup mixture. The oxymel has a longer storage life in the refrigerator because of the vinegar and a different taste.

Both of the concoctions have a strong amount of elderberry juice. This helps maximize the health benefits of the elderberries. Both the syrup and oxymel need to be refrigerated.

We hope to have a limited run to jars available for sale around 9 December 2023, just in time for Christmas.

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Honey from Troublesome Gap is Here!

Every year the bees make the trek up to the mountains where they spend a little over a month at Troublesome Gap. We have a campsite on Troublesome Gap. It is a remote area and the bees have access to sourwood and locust flowers. This gives the honey a unique flavor and color that varies each year depending on how soon or late the different trees and bushes bloom.

The honey has a crisp color and flavor. If you have camped on Troublesome Gap, adding a jar of honey to your pantry is a good way to bring home some of the uniqueness of Troublesome Gap and enjoy it all year.

Get your own jar here.

You can see the color difference of the honey between the farm and Troublesome Gap. There is also a taste difference. Which one do you like better?

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Changes to the Farm

A farm can be beautiful and functional. We have put a lot of emphasis on getting the orchard and food forest planted and growing crops for the past 2 years. This week we put the emphasis on improving the property and doing some cleanup.

Hargrove Lawn Care in Bear Creek, NC did a wonderful job helping to move brush and clear out areas so we can come back and plant pollinators. They also took out trees and bushes to make maintaining the property easier. They also opened up a spot for a fire circle and chairs. Its amazing what a trained operator with a skid steer can do in a day. Now we need to get planting clover and pollinators in these areas.

It will be nice to have a spot for a fire circle with room for a big group. The trees are out of the way so we can start bringing the rocks over and build the fire circle.

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Bees on the Farm

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to have bees and check to see if they are producing honey, then check out the video

The bees pollinate the fruit bearing plants and crops while they are producing honey. The honey actually takes on a different taste depending on which plants are blooming.

Good news – we will have honey soon


We partner with Blue Truck Honey to have bees on our farm. They are in Apex, NC