“Would you like a sample?” a weathered man asked, holding out a sample stick with a twirl of honey at the end.
I looked up from the display of beeswax candles and Mason jars of honey — belatedly noticing the woman playing the harp behind his booth.
The harpist was far enough away so the man didn’t have to talk over her, but close enough that it was a good bet that the gentle tones of her playing were what had caused me to pause at their booth in the first place.
And now the question was: Did I want to sample local honey while listening to harp music?
Okay. Twist my arm. This tagteam had officially talked me into it.
Next to me, another customer stepped up to make an order. A regular. He wanted two large jars of honey.
They only had one large jar left.
A swipe of a card later, they had zero large jars left. Only medium and small remained.
When that customer went on his way, a couple stepped up in his place.
“Would you like a sample?” the vendor asked. “This is our signature honey — harvested 800 colonies from across the valley to create a flavor reflecting the botanical spectrum of the valley.”
Okay, he didn’t say that.
But those were the tidbits my brain pieced together as he talked to customer after customer — making three separate sales while decided whether I needed more honey in my life.
How long had it been since I’d had honey any more elaborate than what came in a squeezable bear bottle at the grocery store?
Finding myself mining childhood memories for such a time, I realized it might be time to lean into rediscovering honey as a delicacy.
And what better place to start than a local business that had turned selling honey and beeswax candles into a multi-sensory, harp-accompanied sampling experience?
Gotta support that level of local quality, amiright?
I was about to buy one of their few remaining medium-sized jars when the vendor looked at my bag and saw flyers I was carrying with me.
“What you got there?” he asked, pointing to them.
“I’m hosting a writing contest,” I said. “and giving flyers to anyone who’s interested.”
The harp player took a break as I said this and moved into the booth. The man looked her way, “She’s a great poet.”
“I’d love to see your work,” I said to her, handing over a flyer. “Please, enter.”
She took the flyer, then surprised me by reaching for a jar of honey.
“Poetry is important,” she said. “It’s a good thing to keep alive. Here. Can we give something to the winner? Some honey for a gift basket?”
I must confess this wasn’t an idea I remotely had on my radar, but the offer was so sincere and the honey was so good that there was only one answer:
“Yes. Someone in the poetry category can win your honey. I’m not sure exactly how that will play out, but we’ll make that happen.”
And that’s why one lucky poet will get a small jar of honey this year in The BATTLE of the BARDS. Because a local honey company believes in the craft and wants to thank you for keeping it alive.
It’s delicious. I hope you enjoy.
In the meantime, feel free to check out this great local company: https://www.whitelakefarms.com/