A sustainable farm in Suffolk, UK, is making vegan honey from apple juice.
Applewood Acres, an organic farm just outside of the village of Bentley, was founded by partners Jo Hull and Dave Carney. The couple left their jobs—Hull, a receptionist, and Carney, an electrician—three years ago to pursue life as first-generation farmers.
Applewood Acres grows microgreens, lettuces, and edible flowers without chemical fertilizers. In addition to produce, the couple handcrafts vegan honey, egg-free lemon curd, and smoky meat-free bacon.
“When we went plant-based a few years ago, I found that honey and lemon curd were two things that I really missed,” Hull told local news source the East Anglian Daily Times.
“Our vegan honey is made with apple juice, and is sweet and runny, a bit like acacia honey. The lemon curd is completely dairy-free, too, so it’s also suitable for vegans. Although we’ve actually found that it’s normally non-vegans who are buying these goodies!”
Recycle, Reuse, Upcycle
The farm also follows an eco-conscious ethos. Hull says they “reuse and recycle almost everything.” Most things on the farm were donated or found on sites such as The Freecycle Network, a “gifting” nonprofit where people can offer free items to reuse. Rather than use tap water on the crops, they collect rainwater.
The two also use a “no-dig” method—only the outer leaves of lettuces are harvested, allowing the plant to grow back. This method allows them to harvest four or five times from a single head of lettuce before planting a new one.
With social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic in place, the farmer’s markets where they sell their goods are closed for the time being. But Hull and Carney have begun offering home deliveries across Bentley. They are also preparing the farm for summer, when social distancing may be relaxed. A flower and vegetable garden are already in the works.
“We want this to be a place for anyone who needs a bit of space to relax, anyone who might be struggling or depressed, perhaps. This will be a great place to come and enjoy in the summer, and it will be open to absolutely anyone,” said Hull.