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Foraging in the Wold 

My fascination with plants came later in life.  Though I spent a lot of time outdoors growing up, I did grow up in the panhandle of Texas, which is pretty void of foliage.  You can go 100 miles and not see a tree where I'm from (though you will come across many a tumble weed in that hundred miles!).  It was only after I relocated back to Texas, this time in Central Texas, that I had the opportunity to really immerse myself in the world of flora. I remember being fascinated and jealous of people that seemed to know every plant and flower around.  I could point out a bluebonnet, and not much else.  

The intrigue grew stronger after I became a beekeeper. I became obsessed with every plant and learning whether or not it was "bee-friendly", meaning does it produce pollen? Nectar? Both?  After we bought the Honey Ranch, my favorite activity was (and still is!) walking around early in the morning, hunting for new plant species that aren't familiar to me.  I take a photo with my plant identification app, and hold my breath hoping and praying it is a native that will bloom.  The first year  I had to hike into the wooded areas a bit to find these plants, as the previous owners mowed obsessively, only perpetuating the pasture full of nothing but Bermuda grass.  But after just a few months of abstaining from mowing, we began to see so many fun natives popping up.  Aidan knows whenever I say "let's go on a walk!" what I really mean is "let's go hunt for new plants!"  I'm fortunate that he is willing to entertain my bi-weekly plant walks, and I'm overjoyed that he has recently started playing the game.  (He too now has a plant app on his phone, but a different one, so we can compare notes.) It's been incredibly fulfilling to see the pasture literally bloom with dozens of different native species.  Some we planted, many we did not.  


 The photo above is of prairie parsley that 'volunteered' in our cut flowers garden.  The photos below show what the pasture looks like today.  So much color, so much beauty.  Eighteen months ago this was nothing but Bermuda grass. 

 

After moving out to the Honey Ranch and having this amazing space to explore more fully, I developed a new obsession: edible native plants.  I soon learned we had a whole sort of edible plants (and I'm talking about those that aren't cultivated! Not veggie garden plants. I've tried. And failed. Im leaving the veggie gardening to the farmers from here on out).  We have Texas persimmons, mustang grapes, pecan trees, horsemint, hen bit, wood sorrel, goldenrod, dewberries, and so much more.  Some of these are great to eat raw right off the plant, while others, like mustang grapes, are better served up in a dish.  (Mustang grapes make great jelly!) Many of these have been used for hudreds of years in tinctures and as medicines and have fantastic stories.  Now I'm not just looking to see if a new discovered plant provides 'bee food', but I am also researching each one to see if it can provide human food too!  

Because this newfound hobby has brought me so much joy, I want to share it with others too.  This month's Ask a Beek night is a night dedicated to Edible Plants of Texas.  I will share what I've learned about more than a dozen edible plants, and you will even get to try most of these!  As always, this workshop is free but an RSVP is nice to have so we can plan out the number of tasting plants to have read.  Come have a drink with us at 5pm, and stick around for the workshop to kick off around 530pm! 

In other news, we are hiring!  Keep scrolling to learn more.  We are looking to expand our team to bring you even more unique experiences and events.  Hope you know someone that would be perfect for our team.


Do you have a favorite native edible plant? Please hit reply and share it with me!! No matter where you live, I am still learning more and would love to add more to my knowledge base.  

For the bees, 
Tara Dawn

 

We are hiring!  
We are expanding our team!  Our vision for the next few years is to really focus on bringing you even more amazing events and experiences, and we need help making that happen!  We are hiring for a full time marketing and event coordinator.  The job is 30-40 hours per week, with some Saturday work required.  Much of the work can be done remotely, but the hire will be expected on site 1-2 days per week.  Benefits include paid vacation, sick, and holidays, free beekeeping lessons, discounts on beekeeping equipment, and of course, a really beautiful place to work.  Really solid communication  and organization skills and creativity are a MUST. And of course, must love bees.  Come chair our party planning committee!  If you are interested please email Celia@twohiveshoney.com


Photo by Noelle Westcott Photography

Experience the wildest flavors that the world of honey has to offer! 

This class will guide you through a selection of rare honeys, each of which has its own unique story—as well as a range of flavors that may leave you thinking about honey in an entirely new way. 

Your ticket includes at least five honeys (theres a good chance for a 'bonus' 6th!), a curated selection of accompaniments, a range of sensory exercises designed to hone your taste buds, and (of course!) a wealth of information about the wild world of honey bees. As always, feel free to BYOB!

PLUS, we are excited to welcome our friends at Slow & Low Cocktails who will be sampling delicious cocktails for the evening! 

Tickets are limited. Book HERE.

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