2014 Old Blue Raw Honey for Sale

November 4, 2014 · 10 comments

Old Blue Raw Honey // Wayward SparkFinally finally, Old Blue Raw Honey is up for sale on our new website! I’m so excited and proud and anxious to share this news with y’all. Henry and his bees have been working like crazy all spring and summer to create the bounty that we now have stored away in buckets and bottles, ready to send out into the world.

This year, we have these cute 8-ounce squeeze bottles that that fit right into USPS small flat-rate boxes for efficient shipping. I was pretty skeptical about these jars before we ordered them because I kind of hate plastic, BUT I’ve since grown to love them. First off, they’re BPA-free, so you don’t have to worry about chemical junk tainting your pure, raw honey. Secondly, they’re perfect for doling out a thin wisp or a big dollop of honey without having to deal with a messy, sticky spoon. You can even rest them upside down to glean the “bottom of the barrel” so to speak. They’re also a great size for the honey connoisseur to collect a couple different varietals without feeling overwhelmed by a large quantity or skunked by high shipping and handling charges. So far, most of our customers have ordered two or three honey varietals at a time, and though you’re more than welcome to purchase just one, it’s probably more fun to order a pair or trio to do your own honey tasting or share a bottle with a friend without paying any extra for shipping.

honeybee on crimson clover // Wayward Spark

You’ll notice on the Old Blue website that some honey varietals are marked as “limited release” and are priced a little higher. These varietals were harvested early in the season, and they contain significantly more pollen than main-season honeys and have distinct flavors. If you’re in the market for medicinal-quality, heavy terroir honeys, these are the ones you want. Early honeys are lower yielding, more labor intensive, and higher risk (because hives that are strong enough to produce spring honey are probably also on the edge of swarming, which is a loss that Henry works to prevent). You can read a little more about our early honey extraction here.

We have nine honey varietals currently for sale, but in the next couple months, you may see some of those go out of stock and a few new ones appear. We are only offering larger pint-size jars of main-season blackberry-nectar-based honey varietals. We’re also limiting shipping to within the United States. (Sorry, international folks!)

Old Blue Raw Honey mating yard // Wayward Spark

Our friend Halley Roberts designed our new labels, and Taylor Made Labels in Lake Oswego, Oregon printed them. We could not be more thrilled about how they turned out. If you ever need a few thousand (or hundreds of thousands of) labels printed, we highly recommend the consummate professionals at Taylor Made. Our website looks so classy only because I spent an afternoon around a kitchen table in Portland with Henry’s cousin, Ellie Harmon, who’s a computer genius and all-around interesting person (PCT through-hiker + PhD candidate). I gave Ellie a vague outline of what I wanted the website to look like (after studying the websites of friends in business including Block Shop Textiles, Nell & Mary, Clamlab, Portland Apothacary, Marble & Milkweed, etc.), and with the help of Shopify and a free customizable theme, she made my dream into a reality. I could have spent five times as much time working on it on my own, but the outcome would have only been half as good.

Old Blue Raw Honey beekeeper Henry Storch // Wayward Spark

We’ll be doing several different honey tasting events in Portland in the between now and Christmas, and we’d love to see some of you and share our harvest. Our first event is coming up next Saturday, November 15 at Takara Studio in North Portland. For more details on upcoming events, you can keep track of us on the “Events” page of the Old Blue website.

Old Blue has a fledgling Facebook page here, and Henry’s been posting real-time beekeeping anecdotes on the @oldbluerawhoney Instagram feed. We also encourage you to sign up to receive the Old Blue email newsletter. I’m planning on sending out occasional (once a month?) emails including updates from our apiaries, information about our varietal honey availability, honey-centric recipes, and links to topical bee and beekeeping articles from national and international news. This link will take you to the sign up form.

One of the things that I really like about the new Old Blue website is that all of my beekeeping blog posts are now right there alongside our e-commerce platform to show folks that our honey is legit and give customers a sense of all the work that goes into managing our hives. Don’t worry, though. I’ll continue to publish blog posts about the bees here first, and then I’ll copy them over to there, too.

As you can see, there are lots of different ways that you can keep track of us and this business, or you can always email oldbluerawhoney@gmail.com if you have specific questions. Keep in mind that we prefer to address broad questions about our beekeeping practices through long-form blog posts. If you would like to know more about how we operate, you’re welcome to request a blog post on a certain subject, but it may take a while for us to get around to presenting it.

Thanks in advance for supporting us in this venture. We really appreciate it!

beekeeping with Henry Storch of Old Blue Raw Honey // Wayward Spark

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

mae November 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Just curious, do you have a favorite flavor/varietal? I want to get the limited releases and maybe one or two other really interesting flavors that I maybe wouldn’t experience here in New England.

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Camille November 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

I knew people were going to ask this question, and I’m kinda dreading it. First off, I would caution folks from assuming that more exclusive means “better” flavor. Taste is so subjective that I certainly can’t tell folks what they will like, but the flavors of some of the “limited release” honeys, bigleaf maple in particular, are pretty out there/funky. Some people are really into that or at least they’re into the herbal/medicinal qualities of those types of honeys. If you’re looking for a honey with broad appeal paired with uniquely Northwest character, you probably want to go with one of the blackberry varietals. I’m also partial to the clary sage, but I really don’t have a very fine palate, so you shouldn’t count mine as an expert opinion.

We’re actually in the process of setting up a structured honey tasting with some folks in the food science department at Oregon State University. We’re hoping these tasting professionals will give us some appropriate vocabulary words to describe the different varietals, so stay tuned for the results from that.

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mae November 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I appreciate the opinion despite the fact that you’re not a professional honey connoisseur ;) Just like beer, chocolate, wine, etc. it’ll be interesting to hear what people trained in noticing the slight qualities have to say about each of them. I actually had the blackberry varietals in my cart already solely because I like blackberries as a fruit, and I’ll happily try the clary sage as well.

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LaurieY November 5, 2014 at 7:48 am

We just ordered!!! Gosh, Camille . . . My husband and I love your blog and instagram photographs. Such a blessing force and feast to the eyes and heart. We just built on 10 acres (south of you, in Jasper, OR.) and are in the middle of starting our fruit orchard with the help of Michael Phillip’s new book “The Holistic Orchard.” . . and I was just reading about planting a wild understory of comfrey, yarrow, nettle, sweet cicely, lemon balm, lungwort and wildflowers in the orchard to attract beneficial insects and bees for cross pollination. Biodiversity stewardship and Bees! Old Blue website bookmarked. We wish you guys the best. Can’t wait to taste Henry’s Blackberry and Lotus on cornbread.

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Camille November 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

Thanks so much, Laurie!

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nicole November 7, 2014 at 1:46 am

I’m so excited for this and just ordered (to be sent to California … where I’ll be for the holidays. Yippee!) for Christmas presents … oh, and for us, too. My goal this year is to gift as many friend and small-business things as possible and I have so many people in my life who love honey so — I’m especially thrilled for this :) Congrats to you! Look forward to tasting. ps – the packaging is lovely – really like the design.

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Lorelai November 10, 2014 at 1:59 am

The website looks great!

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Jane November 10, 2014 at 5:03 am

Truly awesome! I just ordered one to be sent to my home in New Jersey. Congratulations on this! The Old Blue website is really nice. :)

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LaurieY December 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

I popped back in (a month later) to say that Old Blue Raw honey is wonderful. For our favorite Auntie and Uncle, we’re sending a sampling of Old Blue to enjoy over the holidays. (My husband and I have tried 3) It’s really neat to conduct “taste tests” considering the special characteristics of each terroir. Thanks so much!!! (I’m going to print a few pictures of the process to send to them, as well. They don’t have a computer and I think they’ll get a kick out of it.)

(I keep all 3 jars/bottles on the kitchen island . . and for a treat, once in a blue moon!, I put a big drop on a spoon and bliss out.)

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