We were worried about the weather… but once we arrived, the threatening clouds disappeared and we ended up with a beautiful day. Dawn Combs and her husband Carson took us on a tour of Mockingbird Meadows, their honey and herb farm. Dawn has been selling her (amazing) infused honey at farmers’ markets, festivals, and events in the Columbus area as well as at the Greener Grocer in the North Market, and she will be attending Slow Food Nation in September. She also just got word that Whole Foods will be carrying a line of her products!
We started off, appropriately enough, at the hives. Dawn told us quite a bit about the biodynamic nature of her farm, which means not only that everything is done in accordance with organic principles but that the farm as a whole is treated as a living organism, and every part of it is understood as contributing to its overall health in some way or another. So the pond provides water for the bees, the ducks skim algae from the pond, the bees pollenate the herbs, and so on.
This is Coco, the Nubian goat, making a new friend. There were quite a few animals on the farm, including a goat, sheep, ducks, chickens, and a hellaciously loud rooster named Brutus.
Colleen meets Sally the Sheep.
Dawn shows us around the upstairs of the barn, which contains the drying racks for her herbs.
After the tour, a terrific lunch of sandwiches, potato salad, green beans in dill and vinegar, miniature omelettes, sauerkraut, kimchee, watermelon, and wine awaits.
After lunch, we tasted nine different honeys, infused with everything from rhubarb to garlic to lemon to coffee. Most people seemed surprised at how good some of the more unusual ones were. Everyone had a favorite, and no clear winner emerged… but even the experiments that Dawn wasn’t so sure about were good, and the ones that she had really nailed were amazing.
More photos from the trip, as well as full-sized versions of these, are available here.
We heard from Dawn that a number of people had approached her at farmers’ markets, saying that they regretted the fact that they hadn’t been able to sign up for the tour because it was sold out. Drop us a line if you’re one of them and you think we should organize another tour!