Bee story, celeriac and Nimbin Valley Dairy

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful sunny weekend after some very welcome rain last week. The bees in my garden were abundant and busy – very happy with my tulsi especially but also my flowering trees. Spring is such a glorious time especially if we have the opportunity to be out in the garden. 
 
By now many of you will have observed that I revel in the natural environment so when a friend (thanks Margie) sent me this story about bees I knew that I had to share it. 

My dad has bees. Today I went to his house and he showed me all of the honey he had gotten from the hives. He took the lid off of a 5 gallon bucket full of honey and on top of the honey there were 3 little bees, struggling. They were covered in sticky honey and drowning. I asked him if we could help them and he said he was sure they wouldn’t survive. Casualties of honey collection I suppose.
I asked him again if we could at least get them out and kill them quickly, after all he was the one who taught me to put a suffering animal (or bug) out of its misery. He finally conceded and scooped the bees out of the bucket. He put them in an empty Chobani yogurt container and put the plastic container outside.
Because he had disrupted the hive with the earlier honey collection, there were bees flying all over outside.
We put the 3 little bees in the container on a bench and left them to their fate. My dad called me out a little while later to show me what was happening. These three little bees were surrounded by all of their sisters (all of the bees are females) and they were cleaning the sticky nearly dead bees, helping them to get all of the honey off of their bodies. We came back a short time later and there was only one little bee left in the container. She was still being tended to by her sisters. 

When it was time for me to leave we checked one last time and all three of the bees had been cleaned off enough to fly away and the container was empty.
Those three little bees lived because they were surrounded by family and friends who would not give up on them, family and friends who refused to let them drown in their own stickiness and resolved to help until the last little bee could be set free.
Bee Sisters. Bee Peers. Bee Teammates. 
We could all learn a thing or two from these bees. 
Bee kind always.

 
I have no idea of the source of this story but whether it is true or not it is uplifting and encouraging and isn’t that what we all need right now?

What is NEWS at the market? 

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that John and Frieda of Southview Orchard were planning on returning to our market this week with all their new season peaches and nectarines. Sadly the quantity of rain – more than 60mm over a very short timeframe, destroyed their harvest – all the nectarines split and the peaches became so water logged that they are now tasteless. 

A whole year’s work gone in a flash.

The challenges of the farming life are real and yet we know that they will return to our market next year bright and cheerful. It takes such resilience to be a farmer. 
 
Jumping Red Ant only has about 3 weeks left before their celeriac will be out of season so if you love it, make the most of it now. If it is a vegie that you are yet to experience, try it this week.

Celeriac is the root of a type of celery plant with a texture that is close to a turnip or potato but is low in carbs so is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. Baking and roasting enhances its sweeter side. It makes a delicious soup and is closely related to celery, parsley and parsnips.
 
Celeriac is popular in Eastern and Northern European regions as a winter root vegetable and is commonly used in salads, soups, casseroles and stews. Celeriac remoulade is a popular French dish, similar to coleslaw. Its taste resembles that of the upper part of the celery stem, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. 
 
As we have smoked salmon (Gold Coast Seafood) and smoked trout (The Bay Smokehouse) at the market now, I’ve selected the recipe, smoked fish and celeriac remoulade on sourdough, to inspire your adventuresome cooking spirit. It is actually very simple.

This week we are shining the spotlight on Nimbin Valley Dairy. 
 
Kerry and Paul Wilson of Nimbin Valley Dairy are fifth generation dairy farmers each growing up on dairy farms in the Northern Rivers. Paul has become a highly regarded artisan cheesemaker winning the Dairy Australia Cheesemaking Scholarship in 2007. As the family cheesemaker, his talent is the product of his upbringing, his passion for creating great tasting cheeses inspired by his immersion in French and Italian cheesemaking traditions.
 
The goats and cows on their 120 hectare farm, spend sunny days grazing outdoors across fertile green pastures at Tuntable Falls. The animals wellbeing is a priority for Kerry and Paul so they don’t feed them anything they wouldn’t be happy to eat themselves and as they say on their website: 

“Our commitment to produce food which is free of chemicals, hormones and antibiotics demands a different approach.”

That is a pretty good testimony as to why they produce quality milk and cheeses. 
 

Enjoy strawberries as the season peaks and before the hot days and nights arrive as once the heat comes strawberries fade into a distant memory. This is the joy of seasonal eating.