Some products at the Cambridge Farmers' Market are only available during certain seasons because different crops grow at different times of the year. Below is a list of what's in season each month. Please note these are approximate dates and may vary according to local weather. 

Be sure to check out our Recipe Book for different ways to use fresh ingredients in your meals!

What's In Season in December: Honey

Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects.Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or other insects (aphid honeydew) through
regurgitation, enzymatic activity and water evaporation. They store it in wax structures called honeycombs. The variety of honey produced by honey bees is the best-known due to its worldwide commercial
production and human consumption. Honey is collected from wild bee colonies or from hives of
domesticated bees which is a practice known as beekeeping. Except for comb honey, in Ontario, honey is sold by grade and colour.  The darker the colour, the sweeter the honey flavour is.

Benefits of Raw Honey

Benefits of Honey

 

How is it made?

Bees gather nectar from flowers and shrubs. During their trip back to the hive the bees add invertase enzyme to it to begin the honey-making process. At the hive they transfer the nectar to young bees who store the nectar in the honeycomb. The bees dry the nectar similar to the maple syrup making process until it becomes number one grade.

The beekeeper manages the process by splitting the colonies if necessary to prevent the bees from swarming and going wild. Beekeepers harvest the honey by removing the bees from the filled honey boxes of the hive. Honey is extracted from the full honeycomb by centrifugal force. It is then classified, processed and packaged.

Did you know?

When sealed in an airtight container honey is one of the few foods know to have an eternal shelf life. There are even reports of edible honey being found in several thousand year old Egyptian tombs. Honey’s longevity can be explained by its chemical makeup: The substance is naturally acidic and low in moisture making it an inhospitable environment for bacteria. 

In 11th century Germany, honey was so highly valued for its beer sweetening abilities that
German feudal lords required their peasants to make them payments of honey and beeswax. 

A productive bee colony makes two to three times more honey than it needs to survive the winter. When harvesting honey from a beehive, beekeepers try not to take anything the bees will miss. If necessary, beekeepers will feed bees sugar syrup in the autumn to compensate for the honey they take.

Varieties of Honey

Pasteurized V.S. Raw

Raw: Nothing added and nothing taken away, this is honey in it’s purest form. This honey should be kept away from heat as anything over 95 degrees F. can damage the molecular
structure and cause the honey to lose nutritional value.

Pasteurized: Pasteurization is used to kill yeast that naturally occurs in Raw Honey. Although the yeast is not harmful to humans and
pasteurization is not necessary, most honey seen in stores is pasteurized unless it clearly states that it is raw. 

Liquid V.S Creamed

Liquid honey is basically honey’s natural form: when produced by the bees and stored in the comb in the hive, honey is in a liquid state.

The only difference between Liquid and Creamed  is in the packing technique. To produce creamed honey, one first takes a small amount of already creamed honey, called “seed honey”. This seed honey is mixed with liquid honey, churned, and cooled on the packing line. The honey is then packed in containers and stored in a cool area for a few days. This process creates a very smooth, even granulation effect throughout the honey, giving it a more solid, or a “creamed” texture (NOTE: there is no cream in creamed honey).  

Liquid honey is great for baking, cooking, or mixing with teas, coffees or any other beverage. Creamed honey is wonderful on toasts and breads. Both are good for you, although everybody seems to have their personal preference.

Honey Comb

The comb itself — a network of hexagonal cylinders — is made from the waxy secretions of worker bees. As these cylinders are filled with honey, they are capped with yet another layer of wax.  But it is all edible.

Honeycomb also has a completely different texture than liquid honey. It’s not like chewing on a candle. The wax gives the honey a pleasant body,
transforming it from something merely absorbed by the other ingredients into something that stands on its own to contrast and enliven the rest of the dish. Like liquid honey, honeycomb can be stored at room temperature for long periods. If you have a choice at the market, opt for darker colored honeycomb which tends to have deeper flavors.

 Types of Honey

Clover
Clover grows well in Canada and thanks to the fact that bees love it, Clover honey is the most commonly made honey in Ontario. Clover is the classic honey - light, sweet, floral.

Basswood
Basswood honey has a pleasant aroma, distinct taste and light yellow or light amber color. This honey has very rich nutrient profile proven medicinal properties. Basswood honey is well known for its anti-bacterial, expectorant, anti-inflammatory properties and slightly laxative effect.

Sunflower
This honey is completely pure. Harmful substances from the soil are retained in the stem of the flower so nectar can be collected intact by the bees. Sunflower honey is used to treat a variety of illnesses due to its superior medical properties. Because of its molecular structure, this honey crystalizes in 20-60 days and turns from a liquid texture to one that resembles melted butter that has re-solidified.

Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a light honey but with a nice mild spicy note and floral aroma. The purple blossoms of alfalfa plants result in honey with a light colour, mild aroma and gentle flavor. Alfalfa honey can be slightly less sweet than clover honey. It is also less common than clover honey, as it is more difficult for bees to pollinate the alfalfa flower. Alfalfa honey is produced across the United States and throughout Canada.

Buckwheat
Buckwheat honey is a highly nutritious honey made by bees that collect nectar from buckwheat flowers. Buckwheat has tiny  flowers, which means bees that make buckwheat honey have to work extra hard to collect enough nectar. Buckwheat is tasty on toast, but its strong and spicy flavor makes it perfect for marinades.

Goldenrod
Goldenrod honey can be dark and strong due to the presence of other nectars. However, when Goldenrod is the major nectar source and weather conditions permit the bees to collect the nectar in great quantities; a golden, spicy, mildly pungent tasting honey is the result.

 Check out our Recipe Book for ways to incorporate Honey into your life

January
  • Carrots
  • Greenhouse Lettuce
February 
  • Carrots
  • Greenhouse lettuce
March 
  • Carrots
  • Greenhouse lettuce
April 
  • Lettuce
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Rutabaga
May 
  • Asparagus
  • Fiddle heads
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Rhubarb
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
June 
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Green peppers
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • New potatoes
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
July 
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Cucumber
  • Field tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Green peppers
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peaches
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Onions
  • Rutabaga
August 
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Green beans
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Hot peppers
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Rutabaga
  • Squash
  • Sweet peppers
  • Yellow beans
September 
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Green beans
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Hot peppers
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Raspberries
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet peppers
  • Squash
  • Yellow beans
October 
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Green beans
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Hot peppers
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Raspberries
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet peppers
  • Squash
  • Yellow beans
November 
  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
December 
  • Carrots
  • Greenhouse lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Rutabaga

Year Round

  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Preserves
  • Baked goods
  • Coffee
  • Juices
  • Wine and cider
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey

 

Learn about the benefits of buying local.