The folk at Earthbound Honey are, like most of us, happy as 2020 draws to a close, but they have reason to be happier than many. Long-term residents at the Catalina Bay Farmers Market, they’ve also had close ties to the Slow Food movement for many years. Slow Food was founded in the 1980s in Italy to support regional food traditions and a slower pace of life. It’s now a global movement, and they’ve just awarded Earthbound Honey the coveted ‘Snail of Approval’.

Founders Terry and Karlene are thrilled with their award, which was presented by well-known foodie Lauraine Jacobs. “We love being part of Slow Food – our trip to Italy to represent New Zealand beekeepers ten years ago was literally a life-changer for us,” says Terry. The award celebrates locally-grown food that’s ‘good, clean and fair’ – as well as the people who make it happen.

Earthbound Honey is a family business, with Terry and Karlene’s son and daughter-in-law being a big part of it since 2018. Alongside their array of delectable raw honeys, hand-harvested from beehives on and around their farm near Bethells Beach, they have a range of soaps and cosmetics under Karlene’s label ‘The Forgotten Garden’. Other clever products include honey vinegars, natural beeswax candles, and even a beeswax leather conditioner.

Terry mentions the family’s latest range, under the ‘Steam Hauler Customs’ label. “They’re hipster products really – a beard wax, hair wax and tattoo balm. The tattoo-style branding was created by a couple of French WWOOFers [Willing Workers On Organic Farms] we had staying here who were graphic designers,” he says. “They went back to France and got their own beehives, which we thought was just great.”

Everything is in glass or aluminium, as they prefer not to use plastic, and they strive to maintain sustainable practice across all products. It’s worth noting that Earthbound also do a one-hour tasting tour at the farm, and a three-hour beginners beekeeping workshop to help you decide if you’d like to take on your own bees.

Earthbound have given us a delicious salad recipe, which not only features their Red Wine Honeygar but other products from the Catalina Bay Farmers Markets: fruit and produce available from Salty River Farm and blue vein cheese from Whitestone Cheese Company.

Pear and Blue Vein Salad

Salad ingredients

2 firm pears (or firm nectarines / apples in summer)
3 cups of rocket leaves
100g blue vein cheese
3/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted​

Honey to drizzle

Gently combine sliced fruit, rocket leaves, crumbled blue vein cheese and lightly toasted walnuts in a large salad bowl.

Dressing ingredients

2/3 cup Earthbound Red Wine Honeygar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Manuka Honey
1 finely chopped garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well and drizzle over salad.

Drizzle honey over the salad to taste.