The sweet smell of something blooming is always in the air at Carl and Virginia Webb’s North Georgia farm. Their five acre farm is covered with a fruit orchard, blueberry bushes, a rich array of beautiful flowers, and plenty of sourwood trees. When our family visited in mid-May, it was still a bit too early to smell the sweetness of the blossoms often called lily of the valley. Sunny June weather helps lure open the distinct, delicate sourwood blossoms that are unique to this Southern Appalachia area. Then, it’s time for the famous work done by 9-million honeybees who are passionate about pollinating the sourwood or sorrel and creating the Best Honey in the World.
|Virginia Webb next to a
The Webbs’ Mtn Honey apiary can boast being two-time winner of a world-class award. The first was in 2005 when they traveled to Ireland for the World Honey Show. Virginia explains, “My husband and I, we carried a lot of honey over there, and we entered that first ever world honey show, and we were surprised. We won first place and the gold medal at the first ever honey show.” They traveled to France for a repeat performance in 2009, upstaging 400 other entries from around the world. “We were just amazed to win that best in the world award a second time, the gold medal. To me that is very special. The judge told me what took it over the top was the taste.”
|Virginia & Carl Webb Examine a Hive|
The Webbs produce their honey naturally, without any pesticides or insecticides. They sell the honey in its purest, raw state, straining out only large particles. They maintain a kosher certification. I asked Virginia why she and her husband don’t pasteurize their honey like large-scale producers who sell to most grocery stores. “In order for it to stay on the grocery store shelf without crystallizing, people will heat the honey and make it that pharmaceutical grade or pasteurization in order that it doesn’t crystallize. But it also takes away a lot of the flavor that’s in the honey, straining the pollen and the very find particles out of the honey, also you lose a lot of flavor, we don’t do that with our honey.”