A couple weeks ago we took a trip to Anderson to visit Dave and Pattie Barrickman and their farm – the home of Wildflower Ridge Honey. On their farm they raise chickens, sheep and bees. Dave is a professional beekeeper, while his wife Pattie creates a wide range of honey products including soaps, lip balm and their popular infused and whipped honeys.
The Barrickmans work hard to harvest honey from their dozens of hives around Anderson. In order to harvest the honey, beekeepers control the hive’s expansion by adding on more sections of comb to a hive. These expansions are used to strengthen the hive by allowing for more larva to be laid, or block it off from the queen so that honey can be extracted.
After honey has been extracted, the Barrickmans create a variety of products. Most of the honey is jarred and sold as raw honey. The rest is used in soaps, lip balm and the infused and whipped honey. These products are a passion of Pattie Barrickman.
The Barrickmans have created many infused honeys with a variety of flavor profiles. Infused honey is a process of taking the flavors and sensations of a food or herb and allowing the honey to extract those flavor profiles into the taste.
“Two years ago I decided to use some of my abundance of herbs to try infused honey,” said Pattie. “I started with sage and rosemary and they were well received. Both are used for culinary purposes, good with cheese plates as well as with poultry and have medicinal properties as well. Members of my family had success with the sage especially for coughs, colds and respiratory imbalances.”
Herbal infusion is not the only infused honey Pattie has developed. Their jalapeño infused honey is an infusion that includes that spicy kick that would be great on buffalo wings. Their coffee infused honey is a great pick me up as a spread on your morning toast. Pattie is always trying out new flavors and infusions, but get them soon, as many of the infusions rely on the seasonal batch of honey and it just might be next year before they can make your favorite again.
Pattie has a love of botanical oils, soaps and cosmetics and she has created a line of lip balms, skin creams and soaps to help relax, sooth and smooth your body. They have 14 different selections of lip balms that are hugely popular with people who enjoy beeswax based balms from local vendors. The lotion bars are another popular ans successful product that combine musculature relief oils, aromatherapy and a base skin cream to heal and cleanse the skin.
“Starting with skin cream to moisturize, I then started adding essential oils for aromatherapy, those scents that are pleasing and also have a bit of healing within themselves,” Pattie added. “The beehive is Mother Nature’s Medicine Cabinet. I have been taught that everything you need is all around you. So, I started to look around at my garden and our beehives to offer these gifts.”
There is so much more to the process, so feel free to stop by and talk to Dave and Pattie on a market day.
If you’ve ever wondered how beekeepers can get so close and yet not have to worry about being stung? Or how about the process a hive goes though to make a new queen? Dave answers those questions in our video of our visit to Wildflower Ridge’s bee yards.