Thomas Keller and Alice Waters Get Their Honey Here. You Should Too.
|Spencer Marshall, beekeeper|
Spencer, born in McMinnville, Oregon, comes from a long line of family farmers. While working on a ranch in California's central valley, he became immersed in the effects of bees and pollination. He saw that the almond crop, for instance, was totally dependent on honey bees for pollination. He signed some pollination contracts and moved his bees to the almond groves -- and then to cherry and apple orchards, and the clover fields of the San Joaquin Valley. He now has apiaries in several locations, and takes advantage of the Bay Area's ever-changing seasonal blooms: eucalyptus, star thistle, wildflower, and blackberry, to name but a few. The floral nectars and pollens of each differ greatly in taste and texture, which was obvious as we sampled squeezes of each from variously labeled plastic honey bears.
Marshall's Farm Honey is raw, 100% pure, unheated, uncooked, unfiltered, natural, organic, and certified kosher."We don't use any pipes, pumps, or filters in the extracting process," Spencer told us, "and all bottles are hand-filled." After watching the bees, who were quite busy at work considering the inclement weather, he showed us the rather rickety machines used to process it all. He has a small staff of workers helping out, and it's rather amazing just how much honey they are able to produce. Spencer is a humble guy, too; he didn't mention that he sold his honey to famous chefs until I brought it up after noticing an invoice for Thomas Keller's The French Laundry posted on a wall. "Yeah, we sell to Alice Waters's place [Chez Panisse] and some other restaurants too" he admitted.
If you go to northern California, consider stopping at Marshall's. But I'm not telling you about some delicious commodity that you can't get unless you head west. Just head to the website, and you'll find that Marshall's ships everywhere.
159 Lombard Rd., American Canyon, CA
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