Showcasing Our Pollinators at “The Harvest Festival”

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My son Miles is 3 and he doesn’t just attend daycare, he attends an institution that fosters a premier learning experience, Creative Explorations in Windham. Now, I have to be honest, I am shocked that a place like this even exists in Windham, Maine. It is definitely what I would call, cutting edge, nestled in a community that doesn’t always share its practices. I could not be more delighted that I found a place where Miles can be himself, in a positive environment where the snacks are as enriching as the people who guide him through the day. It’s a special place that has really nurtured the spirit of Miles.

I have always tried to be involved with the teachers at Creative Explorations, telling them about my adventures in beekeeping, chicken raising and garden tending. So I was completely excited when they asked me to participate in the Harvest Festival on October 26th, specifically due to my involvement with my lovely bees. Now, this is my first year beekeeping and truly, I have learned so much. Watching these tiny little pollinators work this season, has been a beautiful thing. The idea of sharing how important they are to the environment, the food industry and just our lives in general makes me SO excited. Then when I heard I was going to get to set up a whole booth, I mean, the possibilities just seemed ENDLESS! So….what am I going to do???

Well: I am going to showcase some of the products that bees effect the most on both the east coast and the west coast. I am also going to do a bi-coastal honey tasting. To really blow everyone’s minds, I am going to end it with a luscious dessert that encapsulates one of the products in Maine bees effect the most as well as the end result: honey. Here are the specifics:

A) There will be your typical items that extend to an educational circuit: a smoker, bee suit, a frame of capped honey prior to extraction and a frame of honey after extraction. Since I can’t bring the bees themselves I will use some photographs from my hive, a few select reading materials and perhaps some hive components that I’m not using.

B) Bi-Coastal honey tasting w/pollinator products: I will be showcasing the honey of Bee Honey, an amazing project that runs out of Portland, Oregon. The owner of Bee Local produces micro-batch artisan honey in unique neighborhood varietals. We will be tasting 3 of his products, all from different areas in Oregon (and one from an international location). We will be comparing those to the honey harvested in my backyard this season as well as several local producers in the Portland, Maine area. These honeys will be paired with the crops in which rely the most on bees for success: almonds, apples, pears & blueberries. And of course, we’ll be utilizing local cheeses and organic crackers to bring the tasting to the next level.

C) Dessert: Education isn’t nearly as interesting unless you have something really breathtaking to keep your focus. So, I’ll be showcasing how honey can really elevate a basic dessert. I’ll be baking up Apple tarts which are “swimming in a sea of honey” with an oat crumble. Sure to make even the most discerning palettes swoon with delight.

I see this as an opportunity to really speak for the bees. Too many times people ramble on about how bees are “dangerous” or “scary”, completely oblivious to the fact that we desperately need these little creatures. We rely on them for much more than just sweet honey. They are single-handedly responsible for things like the multi million dollar almond business in California. Without them, things like that do not work. So, come on down people of Windham to the Harvest Festival on October 26th at Creative Explorations. (32 Tandberg Trail, 11-3 PM) I know at my booth you’ll learn a lot and you’ll eat well. There are also lots of other vendors showing up such as Molly’s Cupcakes N’ More. Hope to see you there in a few weeks!

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