This all-purpose honey is amber in color and mild enough to flavor a cup of tea or sweeten a batch of bread. The honey comes from seed alfalfa not hay alfalfa, which is cut before blooming. For years alfalfa was a mainstay of California honey production but seed alfalfa stopped being grown in large quantities in California's Central Valley so the availability of this honey lessened. I always hope for more of this mild but interesting honey. Alfalfa is a summer crop.
Blue Curl occurs in the central California deserts but only occasionally, when the weather is right for it. Blue curl granulates almost instantly and sometimes granulates when still in the frames of the hive. Blue Curl blooms in the fall and is often called turpentine weed for its strong smell, even if you're not close to the plant.
This is also an amber colored honey coming from the central coastal areas of California. More flavorful than alfalfa, this is a nice full-bodied honey, not overpowering but rich. Buckwheat is produced in the early summer.
Montana clover honey is the honey flavor by which all other honeys are judged. It can be water white to light amber, is also well flavored but not overpowering, and can be made in large quantities in the northern states of the US. Clover honey is produced in the summer.
Holy Clover is a forage crop from Montana. This water white to light amber honey is mild in flavor and has the common name of sain foin which is French for "healthy hay." It's a relatively new honey to my business but it's becoming a popular flavor for some.
Eucalyptus is a strong flavored but distinctively good honey. Made from the local eucalyptus all over the coastal areas of California this is an amber colored honey. Eucalyptus often is the first honey crop of the year as the trees can bloom as early as December, giving the bees a much needed start for the year and a boost against a potentially long winter. Bees cannot work below a certain temperature and plants don't secrete nectar below certain temperatures so even if the trees are blooming, sadly the bees cannot always make good use of the eucalyptus blossoms.
This honey has a strong floral scent and taste. It's often too strong for some but it's just right for others. A light to mid range amber color, orange is a popular and difficult to get honey for the beekeepers who are usually only allowed a two week window a year in which to make this much loved honey. Oranges do not need the bees to pollinate them and are often seen as a nuisance to the orange growers who pick oranges during the time the bees are in the orchards. The window for beekeepers to move their hives is in the late spring.
This is a mild and much prized honey in California as pure sage will never granulate. Sage produces nectar when there has been enough early or fall rain to put on new growth, where the blooms occur, and enough later rains to produce nectar. The drought years which often give us early rains but no late rains have been hard on the sage crops. Sage blooms in the spring.
Another distinctively flavored honey, but not overpowering, star thistle has been in decline in the recent years. Ubiquitous on dry hillsides it's been a nuisance to farmers and livestock for a long time. An invasive from Europe, many people have worked to eradicate this plant from the landscape and with some success. Often the plants can appear to be blooming but closer inspection shows a small hole where a biological agent has eaten into the head of the flower. The flower is unable to produce nectar nor is it able to produce seeds. Many of us recognize this plant for its annoyance but miss its lovely honey. Star Thistle blooms in the early summer.
Wildflower is any combination of flowers where no one flavor is distinctive. Its color and flavor vary tremendously and wildflower is made throughout the honey producing year.