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Fresh Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey 

A dozen fresh figs (if no figs are available, try peaches instead)
1 oz blue cheese, room temperature
Honey!!
Candied walnuts (optional)

Slice the figs in half from the top down and arrange on the plate. Crumble the blue cheese over the figs. Drizzle the honey over the figs and cheese and serve with candied walnuts (optional).

Click here to read the recipe from “Grampa’s Gourmet Honey”

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HONEY BAKLAVA BATONS

These simple cookies, an interpretation of the Middle Eastern pastry of baked phyllo layered with ground nuts and soaked with honey syrup, go nicely with ice cream.

INGREDIENTS:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 phyllo sheets (18 inches by 13 inches each)
2/3 cup pistachios, walnuts or a combination of the two, finely chopped (about 8 tablespoons total)

DIRECTIONS: 
Melt the butter with the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat, then remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and allspice. Reserve 2 tablespoons for brushing the formed batons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Lay one sheet of phyllo (cover the remaining stack with dampened paper toweling to keep the sheets from drying out) on the counter, with one of its long edges running parallel with the edge of the counter. Use a pastry brush to paint the sheet with the butter mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of nuts evenly over the sheet. Carefully grip the edge closest to you and fold it one-fourth of the way, away from you. Fold the folded quarter in half and then in half again. This will create a kind of pastry baton that you can then easily roll all the way to the end of the sheet, until you have created 1 long baton. Cut the baton into five 5 1/2-inch lengths. Transfer the batons to the lined baking sheet, with the seams on the bottom. Repeat the process with the three remaining phyllo sheets. Before baking, brush the tops of the batons with the reserved butter mixture. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Makes 20 batons

Click here to read the recipe on WashingtonPost.com

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Harry’s Honey: Nature’s Sweet Treat

“Harry Stein, founder of Harry’s Honey, has been offering different varieties of honey since the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market began in 2006. He joined up in the second week to sell a startling array of choices including clover, sage, orange, lemon, buckwheat and eucalyptus. He even has unusual honeys gathered from avocado, cactus, strawberries and blackberries… While talking with Harry at his booth, it was clear that customers consider him to be as much of a Farmers’ Market staple as his honey!”

Click here to read the full article by Christy Wilhelmi on Mar Vista Patch

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love it =)

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Water Meter Bees

Today Chelsea and I rescued a hive from a water meter in Chase Park in Marina Del Rey with fellow Backward Beekeeper Susan. Susan is a violinist in the Marina Del Rey Orchestra and noticed the bees coming out of the meter after a rehearsal. She contacted the park administration and asked them if we could rescue the bees. They didn’t know about Susan’s bees, but they had planned to call vector control to have another 3 hives in the park exterminated (“foamed”). They were happy to let us rescue the bees.

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I thought it was going to be a fairly small hive because these water meters are checked every few months. Well, this one must have gone awhile because when I cracked the lid, I discovered at least a 6 month old hive. 

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We worked quickly to cut out the comb from the water meter, brush the bees into a nuc box and tie the comb into frames. 

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This was Susan’s first cut-out and she did a great job. Ken, our park supervisor, was intrigued with the whole process, paying careful attention to our every move. He even got his first ever bee sting and could have cared less. 

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None of us could believe how many bees came out of this little water meter. After we brushed the queen into one of the nucs, it was like a stampede to get in. The entrance hole soon clogged, forcing the bees to pack another four nucs to the gills. In the end, we rescued every single bee, saving these prolific little creatures from the foam. 

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Will You Help Legalize Urban Beekeeping in Mar Vista?

“As the national interest in urban beekeeping grows, cities like Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Seattle have joined the movement and legalized the practice. These cities recognize just how important bees are to the future of our way of life.

Yet, as bees are quickly vanishing due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), some cities like Los Angeles have yet to legalize urban beekeeping. In the Mar Vista community of L.A., a group of activists is ready to change that. Chelsea and Rob McFarland recently started a petition on Change.org asking the Mar Vista Community Council to support beekeeping in the region and work to repeal Los Angeles Municipal Code 50.03, which makes beekeeping illegal.

Working in collaboration with the Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee and Backwards Beekeepers, the McFarlands started honeylove.org to raise awareness and gain support for the legalization of urban beekeeping in Mar Vista and Los Angeles as a whole. After speaking in front of the Mar Vista Community Council, Chelsea and Rob gained unanimous approval of a feasibility study on legalizing beekeeping.

Their work is certainly important — bees are responsible for pollinating about one-third of America’s food supply. Without bees, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy staples of our diets like apples, nuts, soybeans, broccoli, and cucumbers, as well as some of the tastiest flowering crops out there, such as peaches, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, and melons. Even our cattle, which feed primarily on alfalfa, rely on bees to pollinate their food. Even President Obama supports urban beekeeping — he keeps two beehives on the White House lawn.

While the Mar Vista Community Council approved the feasibility study, they’ve yet to fully legalize beekeeping in the community. That’s where the McFarlands’ petition comes in. You can help the couple push for legal beekeeping in Mar Vista. Add your signature to the petition, and enable the citizens of Mar Vista to play their part in saving our food system through urban beekeeping.”

Change.org – by Meredith Slater · June 28, 2011 

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ompomphooey:

Billboard poster design for the plight of the honey beeeee

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“Finding a Home” Night at the Mar Vista Community Council
“Rob and Chelsea McFarland spoke for another creature in vital need of a home: bees. Said that a world without bees is a world without food. The best way to protect bees is to give them homes wherever possible. The Council approved a pilot study for their bee program.”
Article by: Andy Shrader / Photo Credit: Roy Persinko

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