It’s hard to find truly local fruit preserves made from local fruits and herbs and sweetened with honey made by local bees who haven’t wandered in from some other, foreign, non-local place. That’s why we’re excited to have back in stock the Strawberry-Rosemary, Cherry-Sherry, and Basil-Hazel preserves from Bee-Here-Now Farms, under the careful, not to say fanatical, directorship of Vermont native and nativist J. Jones.
Jones uses only fruits and herbs grown on his own 623-acre farm and processes them in vats that have “Vermont” stenciled all over them. He sweetens his rigorously local products with honey made by bees that pollinate strictly within the state. Tiny cameras are affixed to the bees and their transmissions monitored 24/7, to assure none of the insects cross state lines. Further, each colony is subjected to random “drug search”-like inspections to assure its members remain uncontaminated by the less-than-desirable pollens of places like New Hampshire, New York state, and—worse—Canada.
Jones is just as particular about his human employees as he is about his apian crew. His 23 workers are all required to show documentation proving that their lineage, on both sides, extends at least as far back as 1770 and demonstrates some personal acquaintance with Ethan Allen or, failing that, Ethan’s brothers Ira or Levi.
The preserves are packed in jars made of glass created from sand collected from local beaches using front-loaders purchased from Vermont dealers. Jones’s labels-featuring a Bee-Here-Now Farms logo designed by a lady who has literally never left Burlington–are made exclusively from paper manufactured from the wood of Green Mountain conifers and Northern hardwoods, and feature inks derived from regional berries and compounded according to a secret family recipe closely-guarded by a secret family. The labels are affixed to the jars via a special home-made paste made by some old guy in Brattleboro.
These subtle, jammy, sweet, honeyed, tart, sticky preserves are especially delicious, scrumptious, tasty, delectable, and luscious with crispy, crunchy, brittle, toasty toast and crisp, golden, tender, fragrant, toothsome waffles.
We’re particularly excited to be re-stocking these products, which can only be bought in person, by customers arriving in cars and trucks with Vermont license plates. (We flew into Burlington International from JFK and rented a van for the purpose.) We urge our customers to act quickly, as this stock is sure to sell out in a week or so, after which we will make an even bigger deal about some insanely-local Vermont maple syrup producer who somehow got himself legally married to his trees.