Food Profiling: Noah's Honey

Noah's Honey.JPG
Anne Marie Panoringan
Food Profiling is a new feature on SAFII where we get to know locals who run a business  making their own food outside restaurants. If you know a person or product of OC origin that you'd like to see featured, let us know!

A friend asked Fullerton resident Richard Haffke if he could help move some stuff at night. When Richard asked what needed moving at that hour, his friend answered, "Bees." It was the first time he heard about beekeeping. That was 13 years ago. Now, Haffke has his own swarm and sells their honey at local farmers markets. Named after his grandson, Noah's Honey harvests its sweet treasure from three locations: Silverado Canyon, San Dimas, and Fallbrook. Flavors are based on from which plants the bees gather nectar during a particular season--for instance, the current selection includes orange, wildflower, and sage. In addition, they make single serving, naturally flavored "honey sticks"  in whimsical tastes like root beer (my favorite).  Haffke is currently making a great BBQ sauce by blending wildflower honey, mustard and soy sauce. The stuff Haffke gathers from his hive is so delicious and healthy that his queen bee prefers substituting sugar with honey in her muffin recipes.

At $16 for 2 ounces(!), royal jelly is sold as an organic that is, according to Haffke, "good for insides." Devotees spoon themselves a daily serving like I pop a multivitamin. He's heard about folks who use them on sores, and knows it's also an ingredient in some makeup. I heard it can even double as a quick facial. That might explain why, at 76 years young, Mr. Haffke appears pretty youthful inside and out.

While I wasn't allowed to visit their facilities for safety reasons, it certainly doesn't stop the bears from knocking down hives. Watching attacks from afar, this is when being stung by one of his wards is the least of Haffke's concerns. Despite the occasional setback, his team ultimately collects the product in buckets and 55-gallon drums for extraction and processing. Their filtration process includes a double strain through cheesecloth to remove traces of pollen and provide the purest honey possible.  Giving this extra attention adds to its subtle, yet comforting taste.

To check out Haffke's honey, buzz to the farmers market in Tustin on Wednesdays, or Laguna Hills on Fridays. On weekends, Noah's Honey can bee (sorry: couldn't resist!) found in Yorba Linda. In a couple of weeks, Haffke will branch out into Los Angeles County by setting up at the South Gate Farmers Market on Mondays. Then in April, they will frequent downtown Fullerton's farmers market when it opens again. Haffke doesn't have a website or even a phone number for his business, so you'll just have to show up to taste his sweet, sweet honey.



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3 comments
The Backyard Bees team
The Backyard Bees team

As a local beekeeper in Orange County I feel I have to speak up on a few issues regarding Noah's Honey. Beekeeper's who have long practiced the art of caring for hives and harvesting honey feel adamant about honesty when it comes to discussing exactly how hives are treated, and how the honey is processed. Unfortunately, many sellers import or use commercial honey. Commercial honey is produced by honeybees that are often placed in "monoculture" situations, where crops are sprayed with pesticides, and the bees are artificially fed corn syrup to keep them alive.We always welcome visitors to our hives because we feel it's important for people to witness that our honey is genuinely local, and all natural. People should be wary of anyone who claims it's "unsafe" to visit their facilities, therefore blocking one from seeing their practices in apiculture. Donning a simple bee suit, and approaching a hive with a peaceful state of mind is precaution enough to see honeybees in action (With the exception of those who are allergic.) and a beautiful thing to behold.Also, a beekeeper who's main concern is the health of a hive would never harvest "royal jelly" to sell. Removing this vital food, (which is time intensive for the bees to produce and such a minuscule amount,) would prove harmful for the queen and baby honeybees. The foreign and commercial producers of "royal jelly" have made selling this possible by creating cells of hundreds of queens lined up in a row, forcing the bees to produce as quickly as possibly, and in larger quantities. Anyone who claims to raise hives naturally and sells royal jelly is contradicting their practices, and would find it would take many hives to produce enough to sell for profit, not to mention prevent them from surviving and producing their beautiful honey.This is not a personal attack against Noah's Honey, just a hope for people to take the opportunity to educate themselves on the matter.

Sincerely the honeybee team,www.backyardbees.net

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

BEE TEAM,

Thank you for providing great information so that this blog is unable to keep promoting false information to its readers and shedding light on issues they frequently ignore. Now get ready for Gustavo to insult you, call you a whiner, troll, or some other name.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Actually, Dog, I profiled them a couple of years ago and they remain good friends--not that you care about facts or rationality, troll.

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