|?Paper Maple Tree Trunk, UC Davis|
Within this beautiful campus there is also an arboretum (the Davis Arboretum), a public botanical garden along The Waterway that has a collection of plants native to California, among many others. With water views, a well maintained path and benches in the shade, it is a refuge of green and tranquility.
It isn't surprising that all of this green and diversity is found here.
|(Very) Old Oak Tree Trunk, UC Davis|
|Redwood Tree Trunk, UC Davis|
|Farmland around Davis:w/ view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains|
The Davis region is found within the Sacramento Valley and is 15 miles west of Sacramento, about an hour's drive to San Francisco and Napa Valley, and about two hours drive to Lake Tahoe. The surrounding countryside is flat farmland, with views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains inland. It is quite dramatic. Did I mention how perfect the weather is? Cool mornings and warm, sunny days 265 days of the year. It is not surprising that there are solar and wind farms between the fields of crops.
Among the many UC Davis departments, programs and centers is the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, established in 2012 and housed in the Robert Mondavi Institute (for wine and food science). It aims to teach people about honey, bees and beekeeping, and pollinators and pollination. They offer mead making courses and a Master Beekeeping Program is in the works. In addition, they are working to create bee-friendly legislation in California that would allow all communities to keep bees; in many bees are considered as "exotic pets" and are restricted (!) There is also a research facility, the Harry H. Laidlaw Bee Biology facility, that does bee biology and genetic research. Of note it is found on Bee Biology Road (!) With agriculture's reliance on pollinators, bee and pollinator research is an important field.
|UC Davis Northern California Wildflower Honey|
The jar I have is from their 2013 harvest. The floral sources are coastal foothill and Sacramento Valley wildflowers. The honey has been heated and filtered (gently) to delay/reduce crystallization but to retain enzymes and pollen.
The honey is a slightly cloudy, orange-yellow color and of medium to thick consistency. It has a very smooth texture with floral and menthol undertones, and a slight spiciness. It is not overly sweet and its flavors are subtle making it an ideal honey for herbal tea, or wherever you want honey sweetness but not a strong, unusual honey flavor. I think it would be quite nice on hot, buttered toast, in hot cereal, or right out of the jar!