Tag Archives: honey

Sweet Potato Fries with Dipping Sauce

Summer time is here. Last week it rained while it was also sunny, creating a heavenly smell with humidity touching every pore. I love summer & the fresh produce it brings to the farmer’s market from Delvin Farms. Summer to me means fries and cookouts and veggie burgers and grilled eggplant. Potatoes are one of my favorite foods and in addition to roasting or baking them, I thought it would be fun to see if I could tackle the ole’ fashioned FRY in honor of summer! Sweet potato fries come to life in the sauce they are dipped in. Because I couldn’t pick between a basic garlic aioli sauce or a honey mustard sauce, I decided to make both.


The garlic aioli won my vote while the honey mustard won my husbands. The next time you make sweet potato fries, serve with a variety of dipping sauces. Why not?!



+ Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into long rectangles or wedges
+ Coconut oil
+ Black truffle sea salt
—Preheat the oven to 425. Peel and cut the potatoes into long rectangles or wedges. Coat in warmed coconut oil (coconut oil is a solid until it is warm). Season with black truffle sea salt and place directly on a baking rack. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning over the potatoes mid way through so they can get crispy on both sides.


+ 4 to 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped. (Shown here are green garlic cloves from the Franklin Farmer’s Market)
+ salt & pepper
+ lemon juice
+ 1 cup mayonnaise
—Pound garlic cloves with salt and pepper until a smooth paste forms. Stir it into the mayonnaise and add fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste. Garnish with fresh chives, salt and pepper.


—Whisk the following ingredients together and garnish with fresh basil leaves:
+ 1/2 cup organic mayonnaise
+ 1/4 cup mustard
+ 2 tbs local clover honey


— Amanda Barnhart is an art director, food enthusiast, and cat lover. She curates & photographs new recipes weekly on her vegetarian food blog, PlatedColor.com. You can see more photos and read about this recipe there.

Rain Delays and Honey Bee Inspections

Sunny days like today, while waiting for the ground to dry from all the recent rains, gives me opportunity to open the honey bee hives and check their progress.  April and May are busy months for the honeybees on the farm.   The queen bees are laying 2000-3000 eggs a day, worker bees are tending the larva and brood, field bees are gathering nectar and pollen for the hive.  To successfully produce a honey crop, the boxes must be chock full of 40,000-60,000 bees.  After coming out of the winter with 15,000 bees, the hive has a lot of young bees to raise in a short order.  Nectar flow starts in mid April or first of May with the arrival of white clover.  This year, with all the rain in April and cool temperatures, it is shaping up to be a great honey production season.  The bees have a little extra time to build up their numbers and the main flow of nectar should hit mid May.
Ice covered hives

At Delvin Farms I manage between 15 and 20 beehives for both pollination and honey production.  We get a little honey each year but the main objective is for pollination of our organic vegetables and maintaining a hive that will last through the winter.  I’ve been keeping bees for 5 years and it does get easier as experience has taught me what works and does not work.  Raising bees is not easy because of all the non native predators and diseases that have moved into the area in the last few decades like verroa mites and hive beetles.  The mites and beetles will kill a weak hive and /or at least cause severe stress.  I do choose not to treat my hives with the commercial chemicals however and instead try to raise bees with genetics that can live in our area.  Each beehive has one queen which is hatched by the overwintered hives on the farm.

Because she comes from existing stock, she should be able to survive through our winters in Tennessee, live in our humid climates during the summer and combat the natural predators.  Since we have added the bees to the farm, we have seen a huge increase in the number of bees in the vegetable fields.  Cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, blueberries, blackberries, and apples rely on insect pollinators like bees to fruit and grow a crop.  We provide the flowers for the bees to feed and the bees in turn provide honey for us to harvest and benefit the plant by assisting the production of the fruit.

frame of honey bees

Frame of honey bees with brood about to be hatched. Approximately 4000 bees, 18 days old. This frame shows excellent pattern and comes from a strong hive.

honey bees on top of frames

Full box of honey bees at Delvin Farms. Bees are raised in 10 frame boxes, two boxes deep. Honey supers are added when needed in spring.


Full frame of capped honey from 2014 harvest.  Spring honey is light color, crisp taste, floral.

Full frame of capped honey from 2014 harvest. Spring honey is light color, crisp taste, floral.