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I would like to brighten everyone up by talking about a very special food item.


We have a number of hives on the farm which are looked after by Conrad from Hokianga Pure Honey. Conrad is an amazing bee keeper and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things honey. We have had our hives for 5 years (apart from the odd bee sting, mainly me). They are reasonably easy to keep and our %age of honey from the hives each year is well over 60kg. Not to mention the pollination of our kitchen gardens and orchard.

We use honey throughout the year in all our classes and events. For anyone that’s been to a class at the school will know the taste of our cola syrup. But honey is super versatile and a super alternative to all recipes using sugar. Yes, it’s still sugar however the fact that you can taste it, means that you tend to use a lot less.
Add to that the fact that they found honey in Egypt, dated at over 2000 years old and it was still edible. Tells us it’s not only a super food, its antibacterial properties are amazing.

  • 2 oranges, cut in half
  • 3 lemons, cut in half
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 small knob of ginger
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 20 heads of fresh lavender
  • 1 cup runny honey
  • 2 cups brown sugar

Squeeze oranges and lemons into a saucepan. Drop in the squeezed fruit and add water. Add cinnamon, star anise, ginger, coffee, lavender, sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Once you reach boiling point turn off the syrup.

Lay a small plate on top of the fruit to weigh down and keep it under the liquid.

Place it into the fridge overnight.

The next day strain the syrup through a sieve to remove all the bits, squeezing out the fruit to extract all the syrup. Pour the syrup into a clean jar or bottle and refrigerate for up to 2 months.

When serving, measure 1 part syrup to 4 parts sparkling water.