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I always try to think ahead as much as possible, with as much emphasis on our goals to live a more simple life as possible.  Sometimes, it’s just the little things that give us a big boost toward that goal.  With our new endeavor of raising bees on the plantation, our first consideration was to help increase our harvest through pollination.  Once that happens, we know we will have a surplus of vegetables and herbs and are prepared to consume them, whether fresh from the garden or by setting them aside through preservation to enjoy at a later date.  But this spring, it is possible that we will not only have honey from our one surviving hive, but there is a chance we will have to split the hive.  From there, we will have three working hives.  As we progress, we will have (hopefully) up to seven hives on the Plantation.  That is going to be a lot of honey!

We do plan on selling some of it and giving some jars away as gifts.  But after the dust settles, we will more than likely have more honey on hand than we can possibly consume before the next batch starts coming in.  What to do with all that liquid gold?  I almost believe the options are endless, but here are a few things that can be done.

1)  One tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of whiskey is an age-old remedy for a sore throat.

2)  Bake with it – honey roasted pecans; breads; cakes; cookies; even ice cream.  Substitute honey for sugar in just about any recipe by using ¾ cup honey for the called for 1 cup of sugar.  Reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.  Add ¼ teaspoon baking soda.  Drop the temperature for your oven by 25 degrees.

3)  Take a bath.  Put ¼ cup of honey in a bowl.  Add one cup of hot water and stir until the honey is melted and thoroughly blended.  Add a handful of lavender flowers and pour in your bath water.  This is great for a stress-relieving soak, and honey is good for your skin!

4)  Honey is a good source for anti-oxidants – the darker the honey the better.

5) Consuming honey from your local region can aid with seasonal allergy relief.

6)  Add 1 Tablespoon of Honey in your shampoo.  Wash hair as normal, rinse well.  Try a pre-wash conditioning.  Mix ¼ cup of honey with ¼ cup of olive oil until well blended.  Massage into hair.  Wrap your hair in a towel and leave on for 20 minutes.  Wash as you normally would.

7)  Get rid of acne.  Warm 1 Tablespoon of honey in a glass bowl.  Spread honey on your face and allow to sit for a minute or two.  Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.  Or, just place a dab of honey on that aggravating pimple.  Wash off after letting it sit for approximately one-half hour.

8)  It can work both ways – add a bit of honey to some warm milk to help you sleep; add some to your hot tea to give you a bit of energy.

9)  A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but a spoonful of honey a day just might help you work your way back to a healthy lifestyle where you don’t need all that medication! (Use this tip with other healthy measures like a sensible diet and plenty of exercise.)

One thing you need to remember.  In order to retrieve these benefits of honey, you need to purchase the raw variety.  Commercial honeys that are found in the grocery stores are pasteurized a given a high heat-treatment that destroys bacteria, which also decimates any health benefits found in raw honey. 

*NOTE:  NEVER feed honey to an infant!!!  There is a chance that it will cause botulism, which can be extremely harmful, if not fatal to a child that young.  It is recommended to only allow your child to consume honey after they are at least one year old.  To be on the safe side, I would recommend them turning two before introducing them to honey, and checking with your pediatrician before doing so.  From that point, the bacteria found in honey is not harmful to children or adults. 

So, it’s time to grab you a jar and honey and start sampling. 

What a sweet way to live!