I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that honey has so many uses beyond putting a little in your tea.
After extracting forty pounds of honey during the first harvest this year we were asked by many what we were going to do with all that honey?! Well to be honest we go through that in a year relatively easily just in our daily meals. In place of syrup on pancakes, all sorts of baking, peanut butter honey sandwiches are a favorite among the kids, to sweeten oatmeal and tea and so on. Of course we also set some aside for selling and gifts beyond what I squirrel away for our home stock.
If you are looking for more uses than the common kitchen ones these are some that work well and not so “out of the box” crazy. You know, ones that you can tell your co-workers without them thinking you’ve lost it. Placing a garlic clove up your nose to cure a sinus infection or in your ear to ease an ear infection or this is a good one, white onion slices on the bottoms of your feet in your socks over night to cure an upper respiratory cold. They may work, but not at work.
Here’s a short list of what you can do with honey:
Heal burns, cuts and scrapes with honey’s natural soothing and antiseptic properties.
Give yourself a spa-like facial with a Honey Oatmeal Scrub. – 2 tbsp. quick oats, 2 tsp. Coconut Oil, 1-2 tbsp. Honey, mix and apply to your face like a mask. Allow to set for 5 minutes and rinse with warm water.
Have a hangover? It may be an old wives tale but it does seem to work, add a few tablespoons to a glass of water and drink up. You’ll feel better in no time!
Sore throat or cough got you down? Place a slice of lemon and a few tablespoons of honey in hot water and drink. A spoonful of honey alone can work to sooth the throat too.
Trying to cut down on processed sugars? You can replace the sugar in your baking with honey- ¾ cup of honey for each cup of sugar. You will want to reduce the liquid in the recipe a little and lower the baking temperature but about 25 degrees.
Got worms? Hopefully you’re not struggling with parasites, but just in case you’re curious, equal parts of honey, apple cider vinegar and water will take care of that for you.
For super soft hair, condition with one half cup of honey, mixed with a quarter cup of olive oil. Apply it to your hair, wrap it in a towel for twenty minutes then wash as usual,
Treat eczema and rosacea with equal parts honey and coconut oil. Massage onto skin, let it set up to twenty minutes then rinse.
Heartburn? As little as a teaspoon of honey can calm that for you.
Preserve your fresh berries using one part honey and ten parts water instead of sugar syrup.
Trouble sleeping? A spoonful of honey with a shake of salt on it will have you sleeping before you know it.
Eating local honey regularly has shown to decrease the reaction seasonal allergens can cause.
“Hey! Where did the meat birds go?!” It had been a couple weeks since we butchered chickens and the little miss just now noticed the empty chicken tractor. She wasn’t too concerned when we told her they were in the freezer and we had been eating them for supper. She was already on to talking about the new chicks in the coop.
The little boy helped plant the garden and I’ve had all the kids out there helping harvest now too. They’ve been busy pulling onions, picking tomatoes and corn. At ages 2 and 4 there’s some vegetable casualties, squished tomatoes and topless onions for starts. It’s so much fun to see the excitement in their eyes when they are handed a cob of corn and after they curiously peal back a few layers of husk they discover “there’s a corn in there!” The potatoes are next on the list. Mike and I can dig and the kids can do the picking there too.
It was a dark and stormy night, well sort of. It was evening and raining pretty good. There was some thunder here and there. I was getting groceries after work when I got the call.
“Hey, uh, where are you?”
“Just finishing at the grocery store. Do I need to run back in for something?”
“No. Hmm… The cows are in the front yard.”
“I’m on my way. If you need help now, try Mark or Uncle Greg. I don’t think dad’s home.”
“I think they’ll be ok.”
Sure enough, I pulled into the yard and everyone except the calves were milling about the front yard. I would have left them for a bit, the lawn needed mowing and with all the rain we’ve been getting we (Mike) hadn’t had a chance to do it. I hopped out of the car and headed to the barn… well let’s be honest here, eight and a half month pregnant I rolled out of the car and waddled to the barn. By the time I got there water was swishing between my toes and I realized that I was once again not wearing the proper footwear for rain or cows. It was too late to change though.
We started the 2017 honey harvest this weekend. I was really hoping to have more to write about with the bees over the summer. I probably would have if we were a little more hands on with our beekeeping. We weren’t. We checked the hive about every other week and from talking with others, they were checking theirs if not daily at least weekly. I could make excuses like we work in town full time, have young children, farm animals, a garden, grain fields, hay fields and the farmers market. Yes, we are busy but it really doesn’t take that much more time to light a fire in the smoker and take a walk across the field.
Most trips to the hive when the kids were awake were uneventful. They would all line up on the edge of the field and watch from a distance. There was one hive check after it had rained that we came back to the kids playing in mud puddles, one dressed, one in their underwear and one… well she’s our free spirit but she was wearing a flour sack dish towel for a cape. All were a happy, muddy mess and the bees had survived the storm. Little happenings like this are probably the best reason we didn’t make it out weekly.