Heather Hills Honey Farm visit

Heather amp; Honey

When the opportunity arose for a site visit to Heather Hills Honey Farm in Blairgowrie you didn’t have to ask us twice, after all, the humble busy bee does more than make wonderful honey! Bees are responsible for the pollination of crops which in turn increases yields and better quality fruit. In fact, Albert Einstein was once said to have claimed that “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.

 Established in 1945 with a single hive the farm now has hives located throughout Perthshire and Deeside with an impressive 1,300 hives housing approximately 52 million bees. The hives have been thoughtfully placed, offering the bees a maximum proximity of 5m radius of some of the most unspoilt rural land in Scotland. This allows the bees to produce a far superior product.

 On the farm, production also takes place keeping with traditional methods to preserve the quality of the honey. The combs are extracted while still leaving enough reserve for the bees over winter. They are then entered in to a rotating barrel and spun vigorously, allowing gravity to extract the sweet nectar. The honey is then captured bottled and sealed ready for distribution. This is a method which is opposed to more modern methods of heat extraction which are known to damage the quality of the honey. Modern methods are known to produce higher yields but the quality just isn’t the same. This is why Heather Hills honey is known as the ‘Champagne of Honey’, with floral notes and an ever increasing popularity from all over the word selling in Japan, Germany and the US.

 Sadly, we think this is a product which is under used in today’s kitchens. It is available all year round, locally produced and tastes absolutely delicious! Give it a go and let us know your ideas.

 

 

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Tomatoes

blogI remember the first days of our new business as if it was yesterday. Full of hope for the future and of course there was some uncertainty as to how it would all pan out. Orders for produce meant a treasured customer, hopefully a happy one and at the end of the day it was how we were to make our living. The excitement of one of those first orders coming through, and yes it was exciting, was from a small restaurant, which not surprisingly included tomatoes. 4lbs to be exact. It’s odd, but it’s the little things that stand out. They were so red, ripe and juicy and as I weighed them out I thought ‘they are just going to love these,’ with the fresh sweet aroma to greet them as they open the bag.

Through the years, as those pound orders, turned to kilo orders and then the kilo orders turned to many kilos of orders, an array of new varieties have appeared. Today we can supply a large number, from Beef to Lemontoms to Tigerellas which incidentally look like royal gala apples! One of my favourites is the Green Zebra (as pictured beside) with the colour and appearance of a tiny watermelon and as the fruit ripens the paler green stripes turn yellow. A delight in any dish. The flavour is extraordinary. Sweet with a lemon tang all at the same time and if I’m not mistaken a hint of pepper! It’s all in the seeing and tasting.

If you haven’t tried one you must.

Alison Murphy

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