Tag Archives: Honey

Nick - Strongwater Bitters and Shrubs

Strongwater: Crafting Organic Bitters and Shrubs in Denver, Colorado

Nick - Strongwater Bitters and ShrubsStrongwater Spirits & Botanicals, founded in 2015 in Denver, Colorado, crafts and sells organic bitters and shrubs. Bitters are created by soaking barks, berries, roots, and flowers in alcohol. Add the resulting liquid to vodka, gin, whiskey, or other spirits to create tasty cocktails; or to sparkling water to flavor lunchtime refreshment; or take it straight up to aide with digestion. Shrubs date back to colonial times and are made with fruit-infused vinegar and a sweetener—most often sugar, but Strongwater uses raw Colorado honey and organic apple cider vinegar—and were traditionally a way to preserve the fruits of summer.

Strongwater offers Turmeric, Chocolate Vanilla, Spicy Lemon Ginger, Wildflower, and Orange Licorice bitters, while their shrub flavors include: Blueberry & Mint, Cherry & Thyme, Ginger & Pear, Peach & Rose, and Persimmon & Lavender. Yum! Continue reading Strongwater: Crafting Organic Bitters and Shrubs in Denver, Colorado

AJ Wentworth - The Chocolate Conspiracy

The Chocolate Conspiracy: Conspiring to Bring you Organic, Honey-Sweetened, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

AJ Wentworth - making bean-to-bar chocolateIn 2009, a 24-year-old AJ Wentworth decided he wanted to make and sell bean-to-bar chocolate based on two simple, high-quality ingredients—organic cacao beans and local unprocessed honey. A raw food chef and a holistic health counselor, he wanted to create a sweet treat that was luscious and outrageously delicious, but not overloaded with sugar.

AJ explains that, until two or three years ago, other chocolatiers didn’t take him seriously. Many seasoned chocolate makers he met had told him, “You can’t use raw cacao. You can’t peel beans by hand. You can’t make chocolate with honey.” Turns out they were wrong. AJ explains, “The Chocolate Conspiracy is one of the few companies in the United States that makes honey-sweetened chocolate. A lot of chocolate makers are blown away by the fact that I use honey because it is so difficult. There’s no equipment made for using honey—it’s a really sticky, moist, humid product and the water content in honey makes it difficult to combine with the fat in the chocolate.” AJ highlights three things that set his products apart:

Continue reading The Chocolate Conspiracy: Conspiring to Bring you Organic, Honey-Sweetened, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Setting a High Bar: Chocolate’s Flavors, Farmers, and Magic {cardamom honey truffle recipe}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab


Zohara Drying Cacao Beans in Peru
Zohara Drying Cacao Beans in Peru
In response to several curious questions from our readers about chocolate making, we found an expert to inspire us, help us all understand the process a little better, and hopefully launch the brave among us on our own chocolate-making journeys. Meet Zohara Mapes Bediz, chocolate maker and research and development whiz at TCHO, in Berkeley, California. Don’t be confused by this chocolate company’s name—it’s just the phonetic spelling of the first syllable in “chocolate” (and we all know how to say chocolate). Read on for Zohara’s chocolate tales and tips, from truffles to TCHO and the exotic locales in between. Continue reading Setting a High Bar: Chocolate’s Flavors, Farmers, and Magic {cardamom honey truffle recipe}

Abuzz About Bees: Sourcing Honey, Bonding with Bees, and Caring for the Planet

Probably anyone who’s been to Boulder, Colorado’s farmers market knows Tim Brod, owner of Highland Honey Bees. He lends his larger-than-life personality to the cause of the bee and doles out sweet dollops of honey and wisdom to the passersby. He’s a lover of bees, with a lifetime of experience, and very clear ideas about how to properly care for buzzing beauties and their honey. I caught up with Tim over herbal tea (with lots of honey) and a shot of moonshine at his honey-processing headquarters in Longmont, Colorado. I asked about his passion and tried to gain some wisdom about how to buy great honey and what we can all do to protect and nurture the essential honeybee.

Meet the Beekeeper
A beekeeper since he was a child, Tim explains, “I was one of those kids whose greatest joy was to be outdoors. I grew up with a love of people and a love of animals and a love of the interactions between them. I loved looking at systems.” He grew up in the 1960s in semirural Connecticut, and it was his grandfather’s brother, Crozier, who first connected him with the industrious buzzer. Back then, learning to be a beekeeper was easy, according to Tim. “Until 20 years ago, you really didn’t have to do much for bees. The world was a lot different then. Strategies that worked for millions of years haven’t for the past 15.” Continue reading Abuzz About Bees: Sourcing Honey, Bonding with Bees, and Caring for the Planet

Urban Goat Dairy Dishes on Cheese Making, Raw Milk, and Land Stewardship {simple recipe included}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab


In Boulder, Colorado, a pastoral plot of land sits on the north side of town, facing one of the city’s busiest roads. It’s called Long’s Gardens, and it’s a 25-acre plot that’s been actively farmed for nearly 100 years. A portion of the land is leased to Capricorn-1-by-Lisa-980x600two nonprofit organizations—Growing Gardens and Mountain Flower Urban Goat Dairy (Mountain Flower).

On a recent summer morning, I joined chef-turned-goat-farmer Michael Montgomery at a shaded picnic table on the four acres leased to Mountain Flower. I was interested in learning more about the dairy, the inspiration behind it, and some helpful cheese-making tips. Michael is the dairy’s co-director, working with Taber Ward who founded the organization in 2012.

About Mountain Flower
Mountain Flower provides raw goat milk to about 100 lucky families. Additional customers are currently waitlisted because the demand far outstrips the supply, and the dairy’s production and inventory levels vary throughout the year. Michael explains, “A lot of it has to do with the length of the day, so on the longest days of the year, we have more milk, which means we can give more milk to humans. We also give a lot of our milk to the young goats. The kids get milk for up to three months, which is a lot of milk.”

However, Mountain Flower works to do much more than provide milk to 100 families. “[We were] founded as a demonstration micro dairy. Continue reading Urban Goat Dairy Dishes on Cheese Making, Raw Milk, and Land Stewardship {simple recipe included}

What’s Up with Elderberry Syrup?

“Some people call me Elder Tree Mother, and some call me the Dryad, but my real name is Memory. It is I who sit up in the tree that grows on and on, and I can remember and I can tell stories.” —Hans Christian Andersen

T hat’s an excerpt from the Hans Christian Andersen story The Elder-Tree Mother. The folklore and myth around the elder tree are rich, diverse, and worth exploring, as are the potential health benefits. We invite you to understand more about the tree and its berries, and then learn to make your own elderberry syrup by taking the Hatch Lab class, Concoct Elderberry Syrup. Elderberry syrup was one of my first medicine-making endeavors, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy creating, sharing, and using it in it as much as I do.

ckHatchLab_Elderberry-177webThis class is special to me for a couple of reasons. First, I love Rebecca’s Apothecary, a beautiful Boulder, Colorado, herb shop. For several years, my office was directly above it and I visited often – to buy gifts, to solve my family’s mysterious ailments, and to learn from the knowledgeable and friendly herbalists on staff. Rebecca and her team inspired me and planted many of the seeds that eventually grew into Hatch Lab. Visiting the store ignited a passion in me and a deep desire to study and use plants for healing. When it came time to launch Hatch Lab, I knew I wanted Rebecca to be involved. Continue reading What’s Up with Elderberry Syrup?