We were in the Santa Clarita area ready to head back home to the Conejo Valley, when I decided, how about if we take Highway 126 for once. So we did.
It was a leisurely drive on a late Sunday morning, when we came across a sign that caught my interest.
After passing the sign, I asked my son if he would like to do some honey tasting, to which he replied, "SURE!" So we turned back!
Bennett's Honey Tasting Room is located just north of Highway 126 at 3176 Honey Lane in Fillmore. It feels really off the beaten path, but is just 5 miles east of central Fillmore.
There's a small parking lot in front of the retail store. We walked up the steps, opened the door, and found ourselves in a small, one room shop, where we were greeted by smiling staff and stacks of honey jars and products.
But what really caught our eye, the reason for our stopping by on this mild, Sunday morning, was the honey tasting kiosk in the middle of the room. We treated ourselves to samples of honey derived from orange blossoms, sage, wildflowers, buckwheat, avocado, clover, eucalyptus and cactus. Honey heaven!
How is honey made? Worker bees suck nectar from a blossom and carry it back to the hive in their honey sacs (i.e. stomachs). On its way home, acid secretions in the sacs start changing the nectar to honey. In the hive, the honey is passed to a receiving bee where it is processed and concentrated for storage in empty honeycomb cells. 70,000 nectar "loads" become one pound of honey. Housekeeping bees "dry" the honey by fanning their wings in unison, then the cells are sealed for beeswax. Honey will keep for years.
My top choice was the cactus flavored honey as well as the "creamed" honey. We inquired about a honey that would be best for combating pollen allergies, and were told the wildflower honey was the best bet. And then we asked about the raw honeycomb shown above.
We were immediately offered a sample of the honeycomb. Heck, why not! Are we supposed to eat the wax comb? Some people do, but most swallow the tasty honey and spit out the wax. The honeycomb was a delicious treat and we bought one of those too!
Bennett's Honey Farm was founded by Red and Ann Bennett and is currently owned by Chip and Taydee Vannoy. They produce their own honey right here in Ventura County under brands "Topanga Quality Honey" (found at Whole Foods and other specialty markets) and "Piru Canyon Honey" found at farmers' market and fruit stands in local counties.
To learn more, visit www.bennetthoney.com or call 805.521.1375.