11-th HOUR MATCH CHALLENGE: An anonymous backer has offered a challenge: They will match the next $500 of pledges between now and close of The Bees of Crockett! With only a few hours left, help me make them count! Extra pledges will help pay postage for sending honey to you and the other some 300 awesome backers across the U.S. and the globe.
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Hello, and thanks for checking out my project. With your pledge, you will help make my life dream of creating an artisan apiary come true. While, at the same time, helping honeybees beat the odds against colony collapse disorder (CCD).
What's this all about?
I'm inviting you to join in the establishment of a small community business. With your support, E.G. Flewellen's Bee Farm will produce delicious artisanal honeys and help bees thrive in good health by providing safe refuge from pesticides and taxing agricultural practices, which are at the center of the CCD crisis. E.G. Flewellen's Bee Farm will manage hives without the use of synthetic chemicals on pesticide-free land, far from conventional crop agriculture.
Start-up costs for a bee farm can be prohibitive.
However, with your support I can launch a sustainable apiary in time for the 2011 honey season.
Meet the Bees of Crockett.
I currently have just a few bee hives in my backyard in Crockett, CA, a quirky outpost of 2,500 people just northeast of San Francisco. Crockett is hemmed in by thousands of acres of parkland and miles of protected open space, providing a rich terrain for wildflowers. Best of all, there is no conventional crop agriculture nearby. That means healthier bees and no pesticides in the honey.
Why I need your help.
With your pledge of support, I will move my existing hives closer to the hills where the bees forage, and expand into an apiary of considerably larger capacity. Your pledges will make it possible for me to continue my work with healthy bees and to share their story (and honey) with a wider audience. The money you pledge will go towards the purchase of hives, bees, queens and the equipment necessary to expand the apiary, manage the hives, extract honey and package it. My Kickstarter goal of $20,000 will go directly to covering these costs.
What's in it for you!
In exchange for your support, you will get your choice of rewards packages composed of limited-edition, artisanal honey, fresh from the hives you have helped establish. Rewards are offered in a variety of honey combinations and quantities to fit any budget. And each will feature custom-designed packaging commemorating this first run of honey from E.G. Flewellen's Bee Farm.
If you want, you can skip straight to the pledge rewards packages conveniently arranged for you to the right of this outline.
Want to know more about my honey? Keep reading!
What is artisanal honey?
An artisanal honey is produced by beekeepers who play a very personal, hands-on role in isolating honey with specific qualities in mind. Typically these raw honeys are neither heated nor filtered, preserving the unique flavor and nutrition of the honey. A beekeeper focuses on the blooming of a specific flower or group of flowers, allowing bees to collect from these nectar flows and subsequently extracting this specific honey from the hives.
For years I have scaled the hills and ravines of the terrain surrounding the town in every direction, following my bees to their foraging sites. I've scouted out their floral sources and when they visit them. With this awareness, I isolate specific seasonal honey according to the blooming cycle of principal floral sources.
With great attention to detail, I render three dramatically different seasonal varieties of artisanal honey with these distinct qualities:
SPRING WILDFLOWER HONEY The spring honey is composed of the rush of wildflowers whose blooms capsize the rolling landscape from early February until the end of May. Among this first flush are naturalized plum, California poppies, lupines, native clovers, wild radish, mustard and a smattering of other wildflowers. By April and May, blooms of blackberry and black locust contribute to the mix. All together they contribute to a delicate and silky honey that is white-gold in color and has a pronounced floral bouquet; a crisp, bright body; and a long-lasting aromatic finish. This honey is perfect for more delicate baking and teas. It also makes a spectacular pancake and waffle syrup if you melt plenty of salted butter and stir it into the honey.
MIDSUMMER WILDFLOWER HONEY This spectacular honey, produced from May to the end of July, prominently features yellow star thistle, one of the most sought-after honeys in the world, with touches of pepper tree flowers and a little buckwheat, which is just beginning to bloom. The result is a beautiful red amber honey featuring a velvety texture and a robust, rich body with distinct hints of caramel, molasses and sherry. Adding to the complexity is the hint of savory molasses from the buckwheat, while the pepper tree flowers lend a pleasantly lingering peppery finish. This is a stand-alone honey, so delicious you can just eat it straight, spoonful after spoonful. However, it also makes an awesome homemade honey ice cream.
LATE SUMMER WILDFLOWER HONEY The late summer honey draws from floral sources spanning August to October. Buckwheat is in full bloom and yellow star thistle lingers on. By mid-September floral sources become scarce and the bees madly forage in a push to collect all that they can from what remains of the season's flowers. These late-season flowering plants produce heavy, dark, rich nectar and result in a similarly complex honey. The resulting honey features a chewy viscosity and a rich, savory body of bold caramel and molasses with spices. The surprise comes in a bloom of browned butter caramel at the finish. Its rich color and bold spiced flavor are perfect for the holiday season. This is the honey to dip a whole fresh apple into. Then quickly hand it to the person next to you and watch them try to eat it.
Thanks for taking a look at my project. With your help, I will launch a sustainable apiary with plenty of amazing honey to share.
Pledge. Get Honey. Bee Happy.
-Earl G. Flewellen
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More about the Jonathan Segel album "HONEY": This cd came about after the tragic robbery of most of Camper Van Beethoven's gear while on tour in Montreal in 2004. One of the missing pieces was Jonathan's Fender Stratocaster named Honey, a guitar he'd been playing for 20-odd years. Realizing that there was no way in this modern age to replace an ancient strat, he became obsessed with the guitar again, and played all the time. The result was a new batch of very guitar-heavy songs, recorded with Victor Krummenacher on Bass and John Hanes on drums. A few choice guitar overdubs by Myles Boisen and backing vocals from the Alison Faith Levy, Eden Daniels, Dina Emerson and Anne Hege rounded it out.
To learn more about Jonathan Segel and his work, click here. To learn more about Michael Wertz and his work, click here.
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