THE July feature producers at Wingham Farmers’ Market are Don and his sister Laura of ‘Gilchrist Pure Honey’.
For the last 16 years they have been on a 100 acre property at Caffreys Flat, on the Nowendoc River, where they have 100 bee hives, orchards and native forest.
Don has developed several arms of the business. The on-farm hives produce wax, which is turned into furniture polish and candles; honeycomb; and of course honey. He also offers pollination services using different mobile hives, particularly for crops such as nut and stone fruit trees, and cucurbits. Help and advice about bee keeping is also on offer, which has been invaluable to several locals establishing their hives.
The honey sold at the markets is solely from the on-farm hives.
These bees are quarantined to protect them from disease and pesticide exposure, and the whole farm is pesticide free. Don is very particular about how the honey is extracted, and prefers ‘gravity fed extraction’. What this means is that unlike a lot of commercial brands, the honey is not heated, resulting in protection of the natural goodness of yeasts, enzymes, amino acids and B vitamins which makes honey so good for you. As Don says, “honey boiled is honey spoiled”.
The trees from which the bees collect pollen on site include most of the eastern seaboard eucalypts and rainforest species. Because they flower at different times of the year the honey will change flavour depending on which trees are in season. Available at the market this Saturday will be Apple Gum honey, which has distinct overtones of apple and citrus.
Also available will be assorted rainforest seedlings, kiwi fruits and a variety of citrus fruits.
This month’s producer presentation will be by Sooze and Dale of Old Inn Road Wines. They are in the early production phase at their vineyard near Bulahdelah, and are incorporating many interesting features into the winery such as a strong green ethic and boutique production. Don’t miss their talk at 10am in front of their stall.
The community stall will be selling produce on behalf of backyard growers. If you have 15kg or less of home grown, spray free produce it can be sold through the community stall. They will also be selling Annette’s delicious soup, which will be pea and ham this month. Remember your mug for a price discount.
The Wingham Farmers’ Market is on this Saturday from 8am til midday at the Wingham Showground. New stallholders are always welcome, with site fees waived at your first market. Direct stall holder enquiries to Annette on 6550 7213. There is more information online at www.winghamfarmersmarket.org.au.