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A search for local honey, stories of bees and the Labesques

The Folks of Glen Ellen 

Empty honey jar

One glance at Keats’s “To Autumn” poem had me mourning my empty honey jar. Keats claims this is the season of “the later flowers for the bees, until they think warm days will never cease …” So seeking fresh honey last week we wandered up to Oak Hill Farm. Sweetie and I have discovered over the years that Serge and Cheryl Labesque’s late summer honey is the best. By far. Produced from hives that Serge keeps at Ann Teller’s Oak Hill, the honey is Glen Ellen sweet, rich, viscous – and just what Keats imagined.

Not the land of milk and honey

Alas, the clerk at the Oak Hill farm store informed us they were out of honey. Labesque’s last jar sold earlier that day. Apparently Keats’s autumn of “o’er brimmed cells,” isn’t evident here in our village. But the lack of honey at Oak Hill didn’t stop me. Remembering, more or less, where the Labesques live (after years of their son Remy Labesque being in the same Cub Scout troop as our son) we headed to their house, hoping to buy honey directly from the producers. Somewhat poor of memory we had a short visit first with the Labesque's neighbor, Edmond Joseph. But finally, further alas and alack: no honey available even at the Labesque’s home.


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