My friends Steve and Jan live on a couple acres near Denver and have the most impressive gardens I’ve ever seen. Jan can grow just about anything, while Steve uses his carpentry skills for good. Arbors, raises beds, handmade bee hives, a pond, etc. With gorgeous plantings all around, like water lilies in the pond and a Cuckoo flower surrounding the pond, to beautiful roses hiding in their garden, it is truly a gorgeous place to spend time.
When I mentioned to Finny that Jan had bees, she said she’d be more than happy to do just that — spend a few hours wandering the garden with Jan. Jan, in turn, was delighted to have someone so incredibly interested in her passions: gardening, canning and bee keeping.
Jan’s pantry is unbelievable. She cans dozens of things — soups, jam, sauces, purees — so they can eat fresh year round.
She also has gobs of fresh fruit they grow, including grapes, cherries and apples.
But let’s be honest — really this was all about the bees. Finny’s new hives have her exceptionally interested in seeing how others tend bees. Jan is just getting going in bee keeping too. She and Steve have 4 hives they’ve built for colonies they either rescued from old buildings or excavated from their own.
And in turn, they have more honey than they know what to do with. We had a honey tasting; she offered us three different versions. One was standard hone, while another was a dark, brandy like honey that is a byproduct. My favorite was the honey mixed with bee pollen. It was earthy, savory and simply heavenly.
Watching these two gab endlessly for a couple hours about their favorite new past time was a kick. They were instant friends. It was, one could say, a sweet way to spend an afternoon.