The Milk & Honey Issue
"Making this detour by way of the beehive, the entire cosmos can find its way into human beings and help to make them sound in mind and body."
– Rudolf Steiner
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase milk and honey means “prosperity and abundance; richness of produce; plenty, comfort.” From that definition, it's safe to assume that if a land flows with honey, bees are doing their work. As pollinators, they enable plants to grow. Plants pollinated by bees are then fed to animals such as cows, goats and sheep to produce milk. We, as humans, benefit from this continuous cycle, and a sustainable food system is one that supports it.
It’s estimated that more than three-quarters of the world's food crops rely on pollination by insects and other animals, and one-third of all vegetables and fruits produced are pollinated by honey bees. Did you know that there are more than 20,000 species of wild bees alone? Without pollinators, many of us wouldn't enjoy coffee, chocolate, oranges and so many other foods that are part of our daily lives.
In this issue, we look at our region as a land of plenty, focused on all the delicious ways milk and honey brings abundance to our lives. Most people don't know that dairy is almost a billion-dollar industry in Florida, and yet many local dairies in Northeast Florida are no longer in business. We explore why. If you want to get buzz-y as a beekeeper, read tips from the pros on how to successfully care for backyard bees. (Talk about locavores - little forager bees travel no more than three miles in search of food!) Get the lowdown on what makes handcrafted cheese truly exceptional and find recipes for using artisan cheeses in your kitchen. Finally – What's not to love about goats? We take you behind the scenes of a local goat farm. You’ll be udder-ly fascinated.
There is, of course, more going on in our region than these pages contain, so we encourage you to get out and explore the businesses and communities throughout Northeast Florida who are doing great things with milk and honey. We love to hear about your discoveries too. Don't hesitate to share your adventures! Doing so is easy by simply tagging us on social media at #edibleneflorida.